A PLAN for a care home in the middle of a city conservation area was slammed as ‘absurd’ as city councillors rejected it for a second time.

Developers wanted to build the three-storey, 55-bedroom home in Pullens Lane in Headington but officers said it was poorly designed and too big.

Headington resident David Sanderson, who was representing the Headington Hill Umbrella Group at the council’s East Area planning committee, opposed the development.

He said the ‘massive overdevelopment…would provide prominent and unjustified harm in a highly prominent site in the Headington Hill Conservation Area’.

He claimed efforts to mitigate scenic harm by the building had resulted in a ‘mash up’ which would have caused ‘permanent and unjustified harm’.

The care home would have been operated by Baycroft, which developer Mike Mansell, of Frontier Estates, said is ‘one of the highest quality providers’ available.

Andrew Winstanley, Baycroft’s managing director, said the firm’s care homes and ‘senior villages’ are ‘very much designed with [its] customers in mind’, with entertainment rooms, restaurants, nail bars and hair salons on site.

The applicants said traffic studies were carried out and that impact on roads would have been ‘very negligible’. Residents would not have had car parking spaces on the site.

But Mark Lygo, Labour councillor for Churchill ward, said the care home project was ‘absurd’.

He said: “It is far too big and I understand why residents are worried of the site [being affected] in the conservation area.”

It was the third time the project had been tabled. In August 2014, another 55-bedroom care home plan was refused.

At the time, councillors said it would have been out of character with the Headington Hill Conservation Area and would have been ‘unduly prominent within the surrounding area due to its close proximity to key site boundaries’.

Another application was withdrawn in May 2016.

The council said it had told the applicants in January that plans it had seen ‘would still fail to make a positive response to the character and appearance of this part of the conservation area.’

They added: “Therefore more work is needed to align the design rationale with the resultant design of the building.”

But council papers continue: “Unfortunately the applicant did not seek to address these concerns prior to submitting the application.”

According to Baycroft’s website, it had planned to open the building in spring 2020.

It states more information will follow about the application and urges visitors to ‘check back soon for further updates’.