Plans for a new 95 bed care home on Western Road in Stratford have been approved by the district council, despite concerns over the added pressure the development could put on local health services.
The proposal from Berkley Care, is to build the home on land adjacent to the railway line, an area which at one point had been earmarked for a steam locomotive workshop and visitor centre.
However in a change of strategy Tyseley-based Vintage Trains decided not to develop facilities at Stratford and sold the site.
The care home proposal includes parking, outdoor spaces and while the building itself would be up to four storeys in height.
Arguing against the care home proposal at last week’s planning committee meeting, town councillor Ian Fradgley said: “The Town Council agree with both the county council and the Stratford doctors that we are approaching saturation point in care accommodation, particularly where Stratford’s health and social care infrastructure is already under extreme pressure. I understand that there is no local need.”
He added that he believed most occupants of the care home would therefore be coming from elsewhere in the country, which would increase pressure on local health facilities.
Speaking in favour of the application on behalf of Berkley Care, agent Andrew Murphy, said: “This is an empty, brownfield parcel of land in probably the most sustainable location in the whole district, it’s not allocated in any local plan for any type of use.”
He added: “It is not necessary to demonstrate a need for a care home, because a care home on this site is acceptable in principle, however a comprehensive assessment within a six-mile catchment area has demonstrated an existing need for 165 beds, rising to 275 beds by 2031.”
He drew attention to how the development would improve the appearance of the land, create new jobs and boost the local economy. He added that no factual evidence that the development would harm the town’s medical facilities had been produced and stated the care home could in fact act as a support service for local doctors and medical services, particularly in dealing with routine health matters.
As part of the application Berkley Care has agreed to provide in the region of £60,000 to the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and the CCG to mitigate any impact on local healthcare infrastructure.
The planning committee voted unanimously to approve the application.