Care village for old hospital site

A NEW village comprising a nursing home for the elderly, dementia care facilities and a shopping centre could be built on the former Barrow Hospital site in Barrow Gurney.

English Care Villages, based in Gloucestershire, is hoping to submit a planning application for the care village to North Somerset Council next month.

The village would include a core centre offering domiciliary care facilities, a shop, restaurant, library, Wellness suite, communal meeting room and hairdressers and a 36-bed care home attached to the core centre.

A separate 60-bed care home, 109 close care apartments and suites and 30 assisted living units are also planned for the site off Wild Country Lane.

Barrow Gurney Parish Council is supporting the proposals so far. Council chairman Geoff Coombes said: “It’s early days but we’ve met with the developers and they have explained their proposals and have shown us similar things they have done around the rest of the country, so they are experienced and established.

“Our initial reaction is that it seems to be a very suitable use for the site. It’s appropriate in the parkland setting, which we hope will be preserved and enhanced.”

Owner of the hospital site, Del Piero Ltd and Midas Properties, had previously submitted a controversial application to build a mix of offices, homes and leisure facilities, which was approved by North Somerset Council.

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The care village would replace the majority of offices, which the parish council is pleased about.

Mr Coombes added: “The care village would be instead of the majority of offices. They still propose to do some offices, but because the site is in the greenbelt they are only allowed to develop the same area the buildings currently cover.

“The care village would take up quite a lot of the footprint. The new proposal also looks like it won’t generate too much extra traffic.

“We haven’t seen the plans in detail yet, but we are currently cautiously supportive.”