AGAINST ADVICE: 198-bed care home gets green light at St Asaph
Care Home Design, Image: LDRS
A brand new ‘state of the art’ 198-bed registered care home was given the green light to be built at St Asaph, against the advice of Denbighshire council officers.
Dylan Southern sought permission to build the care home at plot C7 at St Asaph Business Park, but the application was originally minded for refusal.
But despite council officers warning the planning committee the land was allocated for employment and industrial use, councillors granted permission for the plans.
Officers explained the site hadn’t been developed for many years, despite being marketed. But they also warned the site was not appropriate for a care home, due to its proximity to the A55, citing noise pollution and air quality as an issue. Consequently, officers warned windows at the care home would have to remain closed.
But councillors dismissed the advice, arguing the site would provide much needed care provision and create around 60 jobs.
The consensus was that modern air conditioning would negate the need for opening windows, but there would be conditions on consent, ensuring the home met building and care standards.
Cllr Brian Jones said the care home would provide provision in a county where there was a shortfall in modern care facilities. Cllr Jones mocked officers’ advice about not being able to open windows.
He joked: “Didn’t George Formby have a policy with windows or was that cleaning windows?”
Cllr Meirick Lloyd Davies said: “We stayed in a hotel recently, quite modern. Not one of the bedrooms opened their windows.
“The rooms were totally reliant on mechanical air conditioning.”
Cllr Joan Butterfield said: “The site has been empty for years. We keep going on about opening windows, air pollution, noise pollution. I ask myself, how often have I opened my windows? Probably three or four times a year.
“A lot of homes are closing. I think this will be a much better way forward.”
Cllr Butterfield said modern facilities were needed to accommodate an aging population who needed care to relieve the strain on hospitals.
“Looking at the demographics in our county, they are changing, and (we have) an aging population that we are keeping in their own homes as our policy as long as we possibly can, to give the elderly a choice of how they want to live,” she said.
“But we have to look at the needs when this might be after they’ve been hospitalised. They are at the end of life because we do try to keep elderly people in their own homes because that’s their wish.
“But once we get to the stage they are being hospitalised and discharged, we need structured care to rehabilitate if we possibly can.”
Cllr Ann Davies proposed councillors backed the application, which was seconded by Cllr Brian Jones. The vote was 13-2 in favour, but the application will return to the planning committee so officers’ recommendations can be agreed by councillors.
Words: Richard Evans, Local Democracy Reporter
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