Care home unduly intrusive and overbearing on neighbours

A 66-bedroom care home on a former police station site in a Nottinghamshire conservation area would adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring residents, an inspector held, after concluding that its height and bulk would be overbearing and intrusive.

The design involved a large three-storey building with a pitched roof and, while sited mainly within the footprint of the former police station, would be of significantly greater scale, mass and bulk, the inspector observed. While one small part of the existing buildings on the site was three-storey in height, the remainder were between one and two storeys tall. The new building would not be of domestic scale and any benefits derived from its articulated facades would be subsumed by its sheer scale and unbroken bulk. The fact that its ridge height would be lower than those of nearby dwellings would not reduce its outward appearance as an imposing structure which would give rise to a looming and dominant presence.

Local residents were also concerned about a loss of privacy and the inspector agreed. Windows on the third floor of the care home would give the perception of being overlooked, negatively impacting on the enjoyment of their houses and gardens. The increased activity by staff and visitors to the care home would also be problematic, the inspector held, concluding that it would be difficult to restrict and enforce opening times. There was a shortfall in on-site parking and since the site did not occupy a highly accessible location this was likely to lead to on-street parking and highway safety issues.

Inspector: S Lee; Written representations

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