Councillors reject retirement-home plans likened to 'Dartmoor Prison'
PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 January 2020
Plans for a retirement flat and a nursery in Clevedon which likened to a 'prison' are set to be rejected.
McCarthy & Stone submitted plans to build a retirement development next to Tesco, in Kenn Road, in addition to a playground and a nursery.
During a meeting last week, however, councillors likened it to an 'extension to Dartmoor Prison' and said new residents would be able to peer into their neighbours' bathrooms and bedrooms.
More than 100 people objected to the development, which would have provided 55 'extra care' retirement apartments for over-70s in a three-storey block.
Cllr Mark Crosby, who called for the application to come before the committee, said: "There will be an unrelenting direct view into people's homes - their bedrooms and bathrooms.
"The buildings would be more than twice the height of the existing homes.
"The applicant claims the nursery is much needed. All the existing nurseries have an existing capacity of 30 per cent.
"The applicant insists the extra care is much needed. It won't help the people we care for and support."
The original plans for the site had included a medical centre, but it was swapped for an 81-place day nursery.
Cllr David Shopland said: "There are enough old fogeys in Clevedon already. This would do away with industrial premises.
"This looks like an extension to Dartmoor Prison. It looks like a penitentiary. You'd be sentencing residents to look at a monstrosity forever more. It's overbearing.
"Medical facilities are stretched to the utmost. What's happened to the doctors' surgery that was proposed alongside?"
Cllr Paul Gardner drew parallels with a development in his ward, in Portishead. It was built as a retirement complex, but now the applicants want to sell on the open market.
He said: "It reminds me of HMP Portishead, also known as Marina Gardens. None of them have sold, and now they want a change of use. If we approve this, that's what will happen. We should be building homes we would want to live in ourselves."
Members voted to refuse permission. Because they went against officer advice, their decision will be ratified at the next meeting.
To view the application, visit www.bit.ly/2RuaFF0