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Care home bid back on agenda

PUBLISHED: 16:49 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:32 03 July 2010

Liz Coates

Planners are taking a fresh look at revised

plans for a care home

next to the Somerfield supermarket on the A12 at Hopton.

Detailed plans for a 60-bed care home with 10 individual living units have been submitted by Barchester Healthcare, which says the scheme would create up to 60 full-time jobs.

Planners are taking a fresh look at revised

plans for a care home

next to the Somerfield supermarket on the A12 at Hopton.

Detailed plans for a 60-bed care home with 10 individual living units have been submitted by Barchester Healthcare, which says the scheme would create up to 60 full-time jobs.

The care home is aimed at people with acquired brain injuries and the young physically disabled.

It was given outline consent four years ago but appeared to go on the back-burner after the company that was behind the original application was taken

over.

Now it is back on the agenda, but Great Yarmouth Borough Council planners say that so much has changed, with new housing and a new supermarket and petrol filling station nearby, that they need to look at

the scheme closely again.

Senior planner Dean Minns said the council was asking the Highways Agency, parish council and locals for their views.

He added: “We are taking it as a fresh application.

“We have to look at what

has changed in between the earlier approval and now and whether any policies have changed”

Barchester last month canvassed public opinion on the scheme again and soon afterwards submitted its revised plans, which show three stand-alone nursing units each with 20 en-suite rooms.

The proposed two-storey

brick and render building

is said to have a modern, curving design and to be “fairly

green around the fringes” on what is a constrained, narrow site.

The application ran into opposition when it first arose four years ago.

Leaflets were posted anonymously to homes urging people to oppose the scheme which, it was claimed, would be a high-security unit for murderers and the criminally insane.

Hopton Parish Council chairman Mike Butcher said the scheme would be discussed by the parish council at its meeting on Monday night and that he did not expect it to be controversial, “unless someone stirred something up”.

He added: “It's not a secure unit as such, but it is one where people cannot get out for their own safety because if they wander out the door they won't know how to get back.

“The reason it was controversial last time was because someone got up a campaign saying it was one step away from a prison, but he was barking up the wrong tree.

“At the last meeting more

than four years ago it was jam-packed, I couldn't get in the door.”

Barchester is the fourth-largest care home developer of its kind in the UK.

The company has nine homes in East Anglia and 170 nationwide caring for more than 10,000 people.


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