Controversial care home opens it doors after years of planning and rows

Owner Stephen Bowe inside the new unit
Owner Stephen Bowe inside the new unit

A Blackpool care home has finally opened its extension after years of planning – and some controversy.

Steve Bowe, owner of the Annacliffe Residential Home, in Newton Drive, said the 13-bedroomed unit will allow him to provide expert care to elderly dementia patients.

But nearby residents had objected, saying it would only add to the problems they were already having with people parking outside their homes.

Steve said: “I have got to say when we first started building, I could not believe we had got this far.

“It’s such a fantastic facility with amazing gardens at the back. It’s just a really nice place, and it has cost a fortune.

“After all the people that have complained, I can’t believe it has been built.

“It’s a much-needed facility on the Fylde coast, it’s been an awfully long time coming, and we are very proud of what we have done.”

Steve’s original plans, which were submitted to the council in 2010, included proposals for a 26-bedroomed home, The Gazette reported back in 2012.

They were later scaled down and re-submitted with 13-bedrooms and 11 car parking spaces, plus a loading bay.

This was again rejected, but after appealing to the Planning Inspectorate, the plans were passed and work was expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

After holding off until recently, ‘because of the way the building industry had gone’, the work has now been finished.

Steve said the hospital’s new multi-storey car-park has eased the problem of people parking on the street, and said he even backed plans to install double yellow lines.

He said the car park is ‘massive’, and is used by visitors, including district nurses and doctors.

“Most of the staff are local and walk to work,” he added.

“I had to win this on appeal because I had it turned downtwice. I nearly gave up but I could not see why they were turning it down.”

Then councillor John Broughton, who spoke out against the care home during the planning meetings, said at the time: “I’m bitterly disappointed and I’m sure the residents living around the Annacliffe are too.”

He added: “It seems to take away some of the autonomy of local people.”