Former care home could become private homes after failed auction bid

Sunnymeade in Buxton, after it reopened as a guesthouse in late 2019. Picture: David Bale

Sunnymeade in Buxton, after it reopened as a guesthouse in late 2019. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

An application has been made to divide a former care home into five private dwellings after the property failed to sell at auction.

An application has been made to Broadland Council to convert Sunnymeade, a historic building in Crown Road in the north Norfolk village of Buxton.

The plans say that Sunnymeade’s original two-storey building, which dates back to 1895, would be converted into one home with three parking spaces.

A later, one-storey addition would be turned into four, two-bedroom homes, each with an open-plan living and dining space and two parking spots.

Sunnymeade, which is the original name of the building, was converted to a care home in 1985, but that facility shut in August last year.

The owners then decided to close it down, and it reopened as a guest house in November last year.

It went up for auction in February with a guide price of £700,000. Although bidding reached £747,000, the auctioneer said it could not be sold at that price.

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About 1,000 litres of kerosine were spilled at the site when an oil storage tank was over-filled on April 30 last year - according to a report prepared by Seed Environmental, submitted as part of the application to Breckland.

The Environment Agency was told about the spill, and the affected soil was dug out.

But Seed’s report, which was issued in December last year, recommended up to four monitoring wells extending six metres below ground level should be installed to monitor any lingering effect the spill could have on the groundwater and a neighbouring property.

A planning and access statement for the proposal says: “The existing structure comprises the original house and attached buildings together with a later single-storey extension. The ‘later’ single storey extension is to be sub-divided to four dwellings.

“The original house is mainly two-storey and this would be plot five.

“There is currently no intention to alter the existing layout or elevations. This plot would share an access from Crown Road, and have three parking spaces and ample and private amenity space as shown on the submitted drawings.”

Sunnymeade is owned by a limited company, and the shareholders of the company declined to comment on the new plans for the site.