Plan passed to turn care home into 11 rooms for adults with complex needs
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Plans to turn a care home into a house for people with complex needs has been approved, despite concerns from residents and Lowestoft Town Council.
The site, located at 105 Park Road in Lowestoft, is being developed by Mavam Group and will include 11 rooms for people with complex needs.
At East Suffolk Council's planning committee (north) meeting on Monday, objections were raised about the impact it could have on crime, staffing levels of six staff during the day and one at night and whether it would be regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Approval was previously deferred because councillors expressed concern over the location of the staff facilities, the maximum number of occupants of the accommodation, and the staff numbers required.
Senior planning officer Iain Robertson said: "The floor plan for the complex now includes staff sleeping accommodation, a staff office, with two bedrooms on the top floor now forming a staff training room.
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"There is a need for specialist needs accommodation in the area according to the strategic housing market assessment.
"Objectors claim this HMO will result in an increase in crime but police have not commented on this. The HMO will bring social and economic benefits through employment."
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Concerns were raised by Andy Pearce of Lowestoft Town Council and local resident Barry Reid about the impact the HMO would have on numbers of flats, which are supposed to be at a maximum 20pc for street.
Mr Pearce said: "This application generated the most amount of complaints ever received at the town council. Fear of crime from residents is a material consideration this meeting should consider.
"This development would result in the 20pc flat saturation level being exceeded."
But some councillors believed there was a real need for facilities like this in the community.
Norman Brooks said: "I have visited other Mavam care homes and the work they do helps people."
Plans for the development were passed by six votes to three on the basis that a strict management plan would be introduced as well as parking, tree planting, reinstatement of the front wall and a reduction in the hard standing area.