Heathland pressure dictates Ferndown care apartments design
PLANS for care apartments for the frail elderly on land at The Warren in Badgers Walk, Ferndown, were approved by East Dorset planners on Tuesday despite claims that they would not meet Department of Health standards for the care of the frail elderly.
Members of the East Dorset District Council's planning committee heard that the 51 apartments now proposed by John Stanborough in five separate blocks were one-bedroomed and had no kitchens, unlike the 38 two-bedroomed apartments originally proposed and dismissed at appeal on traffic grounds.
Planning officer Clare McCarthy said this was designed to resist the possibility of the units being used by more active people in the future and prevent impact on the nearby heathland.
It was the only option to provide residential accommodation on the site, part of a much larger development on which houses and a care home have already been approved.
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A spokesman for the residents of neighbouring Martins Drive, raised concerns about overlooking, but was advised that the outline application addressed layout, scale and access, and such detail would be covered in the reserved matters application. He also said it was of concern to everyone in Martin's Drive that it abutted a proposed emergency access road to the development, and asked for it to be fenced off to prevent public use.
And as a registered nurse, he claimed the development would not meet Department of Health standards, a point taken up by Councillor Jean Hazel who said she did not like the idea of care staff having to 'run between blocks' in the event of an emergency, or of integrating residents with and without dementia.
But other members supported the officer recommended approval after Councillor Toni Coombs was given assurance that other legislation controlled the level of nursing care, and it was agreed that a condition should be added to ensure a locked emergency access.