Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Knowle care home plan approved

PLANS for a 60-bed care home for Knowle have been approved.

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The plan for land at Old Silhillians Sports Club, Warwick Road has won planning permission.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee last August supported the plan but said it needed the backing of the Government’s National Planning Casework Unit.

The club wants to sell the land – currently occupied by a caretakers’ cottage close to the entrance – to put £1.2m to a £1.5m refurbishment and extension to the club house.

The two to three-storey care home – by Gracewell Healthcare – would cater for people with dementia and create 38 full-time and 30 part-time jobs and 23 parking spaces.

In December 2012, the committee rejected the scheme as the benefits to the club do “not outweigh the substantial harm to the Green Belt”.

Yet Gracewell supplied further information arguing there was a lack of suitable care facilities in the borough.

The building has the “smallest size possible” and the site is the only one “suitable, available and deliverable” a council officers’ report said. To see visualisations of how it will look from the road click here.

As the land is in the Green Belt, the plan would have to fall under “very special circumstances” planning laws.

The 2013 report said: “For reasons of the important function the club fulfils in the provision of play space vs the threat to its future survival of the club, it is considered that this case does amount to very special circumstances.”

It said the clubhouse needs re-wiring, heating improvements and better changing rooms as these do not meet sporting standards.

Some 56 residents wrote to the council to support the plan with a 113-signature petition and letters from Sport England; The FA; England Hockey Board; and the Rugby Football Union.

One said: “Through providing investment in the clubhouse the care home scheme will be directly investing in Solihull’s amateur sports community and help sustain independent sports clubs at this site.”

Three neighbours objected with one saying: “The scale, height and massing of the proposed care home buildings far exceeds the previously developed extent of the site.”

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2 comments:

  1. Gracewell has released the following statement:

    BUILDING is set to start soon on a new 60-bed care home in Knowle after planning officials gave proposals the green light.

    The 60-bed Gracewell Healthcare Care Home will be built on a site at the Silhillians Sports Club, Warwick Road.

    The new £7million luxury care home will create 38 full-time jobs and 30 part-time jobs for local people. The company will be looking for carers, nurses and a whole host of support staff in the coming months.

    The new home will help meet the recognised short fall of quality care facilities in the local area and the company will provide £150,000 in funding to the local authority for local elderly residents.

    Peter Curtis, CEO of Gracewell Healthcare, said he was delighted that the new home had been given the go ahead.

    He said: “The people of Knowle and the surrounding area deserve a first class care facility for their elderly loved ones and as the newly crowned ‘Residential Care Provider of the Year’ we are looking forward to joining the community and providing that vital role.

    “Gracewell Healthcare is committed to delivering truly personalised care in luxury surroundings and always ensuring that our residents are treated with kindness, integrity, trust, empathy and respect.

    “In the coming months we’ll be starting to recruit the team for the home and we will be looking for dedicated staff who share our values.”

    Work on the new state-of-the-art home is set to start in the next few months. When completed the home will provide residential, nursing and specialist dementia care.

    The Silhillians Sports Club (SSC) will use the funds from the sale of the site to conduct a full-scale refurbishment of the club’s facilities, including an extension to the club house.

    Mr Curtis added: “It’s wonderful that the SSC will also benefit from this new care home and I’m confident that this will be the beginning of a long relationship between the club and the home. I’m sure many of our residents will be keen to watch the regular weekend matches.

    “Keeping our residents engaged with the local area is very much at the heart of our philosophy and we look forward to making the home a valued community hub.”

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    Replies
    1. When will the Home be completed and available for use?

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