Residents keep fighting against £8.5m care home

Cumnor Parish Council chairman Brian Stops, front

Cumnor Parish Council chairman Brian Stops, front

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

RESIDENTS objecting to a proposed £8.5m care home have vowed to fight on, despite the developer bowing to demands over its appearance.

The suggested boomerang-shaped building in Cumnor Hill would have a glass facade and cut into a north-west facing hill.

Last year more than 40 people objected over the size and design of the building, claiming it would create traffic problems in the area.

Now Berkley Care Group, which has outline planning permission, has changed the detailed designs. They no longer include four staff buildings, the driveway entrance has been changed and the building us slightly smaller.

But Cumnor Parish Council chairman Brian Stops said members still opposed the scheme completely.

He said: “They have made some changes but still done nothing to address the inappropriate choice of site.”

Mr Stops said the council remained concerned about traffic problems the home could cause, as well as its location on a steep hill. He added: “Cumnor already has three care homes.

“We may not be able to stop it, but we have an obligation to people here to keep opposing it.”

Designs for the complex, which would house 72 people, were previously put forward by Rycote Developments.

It is now understood they were acting on behalf of luxury-brand Berkley, which has now taken over the final planning submission.

Berkley said the home will generate 70 jobs, which will be a mix of full and part-time, for managers, nurses, care staff and kitchen and laundry staff.

Managing director Seamus Halton said he “absolutely did not accept” claims that the site was inappropriate.

He said: “We have taken action to address residents’ concerns. The changes to the design mean it will have less impact and be smaller overall.

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“We are very happy with the roads and pathways and are spending a lot of money on evening out the levels. There was a time for people to have their say and they have had their say, but we have been given consent.”

Mr Halton said deliveries to the home would be restricted to four times a week and not at peak travel times.

A consultation on the plans ends on May 8 and Vale of White Horse District Council is expected to make a decision by July 3.

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