Garden centre site (left) & Care home site (right)
Care home possible site in yellow
Council officials are recommending the refusal of a planning application to build a modern 64 bedroom care home on Great North Way at the York Business Park.
The plot of land is one of several in the Park which has had outline planning permission for over a decade for employment use (probably the provision of office accommodation). Several of the existing offices on the development are currently empty.
The vehicle and pedestrian access to the proposed care home would be from Esk Drive. The proposed building would be in an L shape with the two wings along the north and west edges of the site There would be a car park in the centre of the plot (18 spaces), as well as a cycle store, together with landscaped gardens. It is proposed to have 1.8 metre high railings to the north and west boundaries with a hedging directly behind the other boundaries would be marked by close board fencing. The plans show the building external materials being ivory, blue, and multi red brickwork with a red roof tile. The building would have a number of feature gables together with three storey glazed feature hipped element to the south east elevation. The elevations show solar panels to the south facing roof slope.
The accommodation would be spread over the three storeys; each room would have en-suite facilities. Each floor would have lounge, dining room, and quiet lounge. The kitchen, laundry, and plant room, small shop, and hairdressers would be on the ground floor of the west wing of the building closest to the boundary with the residential properties.
The care home is to provide accommodation for people with dementia ranging from mild to high dependency and also general residential care. It is expected that the residents will be from the local area. There is a shortfall of 211 dementia care beds within the 3 mile catchment area. 42 jobs would be created.
Officials are opposing the development purely on the grounds that the site is part of the land bank reserved for employment use. However they fail to perhaps to recognise that the new local plan (LDF) identifies additional employment land at the nearby Northminster Business Park.
In terms of traffic generation a care home would have less impact than virtually any other use that could be considered for the site.
The report confirms that an adjacent site is still being considered for use as a garden centre (which also is not technically “employment” use).
As we have seen elsewhere, investment is difficult to get in these times and the planning committee will have to balance the proven need to provide improved accommodation for the large numbers of dementia patients living in the City, with what is – at best – a possible long term employment use for the land.