A PROPOSAL to build a care home on the border of Woodley and Earley has been turned down by planning officers.
Gracewell Healthcare, which runs care homes across the country, applied to construct 32 elderly nursing bedrooms and 25 nursing bedrooms in a development in Pitts Lane last year.
However, following a recommendation for refusal from Earley Town Council in June 2014, Wokingham Borough Council rejected the care home earlier this month because its size “would be harmful to the streetscene and character of the area”.
The proposal also included 10 extra care units, a public footpath onto Bulmershe Park, a car park and tree planting.
In her notification of refusal, Clare Lawrence, the council’s head of development management, said any development would infringe upon the park, which is a protected Site of Urban Landscape Value.
She added: “The proposal fails to make satisfactory provision of adequate services, amenities and infrastructure needs and consequently would have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the amenities in the area.”
A spokesman for Gracewell Healthcare said the company would look closely at the borough council’s decision to refuse planning for the new care home and added: “We are considering carefully the reasons for refusal and we will decide in due course whether or not to lodge an appeal.”
Cllr David Chopping, who is a non-executive director on the council’s social care company Wokingham Housing Group and has overseen successful plans for new extra care units in Fosters Lane, believes that the decision will not effect how the borough is managing its elderly care.
He said: “The way the council is looking to go is to have more extra care facilities where people can look after themselves. When their condition gets worse, then it’s easier for more care to come in, but they are still in their own homes.
“We have identified other sites in the borough that are more likely to be approved.”