Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Knowle care home plans to be re-submitted

PLANS for a 60-bed care home in Knowle are to be resubmitted to secure the future of the Old Silhillians Sports Club.

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Gracewell Healthcare is to put in the same plans to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council after the authority threw out the scheme in December.

While councillors approved refurbishment and extension of the clubhouse, the club says it needs to sell part of its site – fronting the Warwick Road – for a care home to fund the work.

Councillors found the benefits to the club do “not outweigh the substantial harm to the Green Belt”. A council planning officer recommended they approve the plan.

Kathy Else, the planning consultant for Gracewell, said: “The sports club is struggling financially and failing to keep up with the maintenance and improvement of the club facilities.

“Indeed the clubhouse is in desperate need of upgrading in order to provide the necessary changing facilities to comply with Sport England requirements.”

Gracewell will argue the council “misunderstood” the home to be a “residential retirement home” but will be a “residential institution’ similar to a hospital, where 24 hour care is provided and will specialise in dementia care”. 

It said it will provide extra information “to demonstrate the overwhelming need for the care home” and a sequential test “to demonstrate that this is the most suitable, available and deliverable site within a five mile radius of the site location”.

It would include guarantees that all cash would go to the clubhouse and information to “justify the need for the improved sports facilities” from Sport England, Football Association, Rugby Football Union and National Hockey.

A planning application will be submitted in May for a council decision.
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