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Care home plans ‘are repugnant’
A CONTROVERSIAL plan for a care home in back gardens near Oxford should be approved, planners have said.
Vale of White Horse District Council planning officer Stuart Walker has recommended councillors approve the Cumnor Hill plan when it is debated on Thursday.
In total, 42 people have objected to the 72-bed development, to go behind three homes opposite Delamare Way, with concerns including overlooking, roads and wildlife.
Rycote Developments proposed to cut into the hillside for the development, to include four separate homes for staff.
Mr Walker said the design – which would need further permission – “could be designed to avoid harmful overlooking”.
The impact on neighbours is “acceptable”, extra traffic would not be “significant”, and wildlife corridors would be maintained, he said.
It would help meet a shortfall in homes for OAPs. Although the site is backed by the district council for eight homes, their loss would “not be significant”.
But importing company director Simon Haigh, whose home is near the site, said the three-storey plan is “totally out of scale” for the area.
Mr Haigh, 56, said: “At the moment, we live in a house that is 100 per cent private, it isn’t surrounded or overlooked by anything at all.
“What they propose to do is impose a three-storey building that will completely change the nature of our property.”
Neighbour Paul Dixon, the boss of a care home building firm, praised the design, but said its impact would be too great for the area.
The 44-year-old, managing director of Lawrence Baker, Eynsham, said: “I appreciate something will happen there. What I am slightly unhappy about is the scale.”
Cumnor Parish Council said it had “serious doubts” about the suitability of the site, to the rear of 82-88 Cumnor Hill.
Its response to the Vale said: “It would be impossible, if not downright dangerous and frightening, for someone in a wheelchair to be pushed up to Cumnor Hill.”
It said vehicles leaving the site – which would include 15 parking spaces – would be at “serious risk” of an accident because of poor visibility.
It added: “Plots have been developed in such a way that the houses do not intrude on each other, resulting in considerable privacy. What is being proposed is massive and intrusive by any standards.”
Parish council chairman Brian Stops said: “About 50 people turned out to have a look at the site and I spoke to them about the five-page document we are putting forward to the Vale’s planning committee on Thursday. There are big issues around access and it really is a repugnant concept to put it there. “We already have three care homes in Cumnor. It would be too much to accommodate this one. The access is terribly difficult and we think that this is a step too far. We are a non-political council and think that we do represent our constituents’ wishes and, simply put, a lot of people do not want this in Cumnor.” Oxfordshire Badger Group said the disturbance could force the animals into the road, warning: “The council will be held responsible when the badgers are finally driven from Cumnor Hill by the relentless march of developments.”
In November, the council refused plans to knock down 85 Cumnor Hill for 21 homes.
Vale’s planning committee will meet at Abbey House, Abingdon, at 6.30pm.
The public can attend.
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