'We didn't get fair hearing' - Care group's anger at new home refusal
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A care home group's management has hit out after a planning application to build a new home was refused.
Councillors at an East Suffolk council planning meeting for the north rejected the proposals over fears about overdevelopment on the road at 44 Gorleston Road, Oulton Broad, even though the development was approved for recommendation by planning officers.
At the time of the meeting on February 22, councillors voiced their concerns about the proposed development.
Craig Rivett, councillor for Pakefield, said: "This looks enormous and a massive overdevelopment."
Andree Gee, councillor for Oulton Broad, added: "This is entirely against the current street scene and I also recommend refusal based upon the size of this development."
But Kingsley Healthcare and its head of public relations Stephen Pullinger expressed frustration at the decision.
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Mr Pullinger said: “It’s clear from everything the planning officers have written that there are no planning grounds to refuse our application.
“We do not feel we were given a fair hearing; the applications before us took hours to debate and yet a scheme of the size of ours, creating great facilities and new opportunities for employment, was given only a short hearing.
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"Our scheme would deliver much needed extra care beds in East Suffolk where research has shown there are currently 900 beds fewer than required to meet demand.
“We assembled a great team that worked closely with highways, drainage and planning officers to develop plans that would meet all regulatory requirements.
"How does the current planning process work to facilitate investment for better facilities? It looks as if the system has not worked here.”
A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council has defended the councillors' stance.
The spokesperson said: “The application was considered by the Planning Committee North; members of the committee reviewed the report, received the officer presentation, listened to all public speaking, and questioned officers and the applicant/agent.
“Concerns were raised over the design of the proposed development in regards to its relationship with the surrounding area, which is primarily residential properties.
"These concerns were then translated into a reason for refusal. Should they wish to, the applicant is able to appeal against the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.”