Decision due on new East Sussex 64-bed care home

Proposals to build a new care home in Westfield are set to go in front of Rother planners next week.
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On Thursday (April 18), Rother District Council’s planning committee is due to consider an application seeking permission to build a 64-bed care home at the former Moorhurst Care Home site in Main Road.

The site has previously been allocated as land for ‘housing with care’ — a category which does not include care homes — within the district’s development plan, meaning the proposals are not aligned with local planning policies.

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However, officers are still recommending the scheme be approved, arguing there are strong factors weighing in its favour.

How the Main Road, Westfield, care home would look. Pic: contributedHow the Main Road, Westfield, care home would look. Pic: contributed
How the Main Road, Westfield, care home would look. Pic: contributed

In a report due to be considered by the committee, a council planning spokesman said: “In this case, the applicant has demonstrated that there are material considerations to justify the determination of the application other than in accordance with the development plan.

“The provision of 64 care bedspaces would make a timely and meaningful contribution to the district’s C2 registered care bedspace need in the immediate future.“Moreover, it would deliver the equivalent of some 36 homes for older people, which would make a meaningful contribution to the council’s housing land supply and accord with the government’s objective of ‘significantly boosting’ the supply of homes.”

While recommended for approval, the proposals have proven to be controversial with some residents. Objectors argue the scheme would put pressure on local infrastructure, particularly health services.

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Similar concerns have been raised by Westfield Parish Council, which argues the scheme should be refused due to its conflict with the district’s development plan. They say the village does not have a need for the facility, but does have a need for the affordable housing set out in the site’s allocation.

The parish council has also raised concerns about the accessibility of the site and its potential impact on highways.

For further information on the proposals see application reference RR/2021/3010/P on the Rother District Council website.

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