Councillors defer decision on care home and houses scheme in Stalmine

Controversial proposals to build a huge ‘double’ 160-bed care home and up to 50 new houses in the village of Stalmine have been deferred by Wyre’s planning committee to enable possible amendments.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 7:29 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 7:30 am
Artist's impression of the scheme off Stricklands Lane in Stalmine

Controversial proposals to build a huge ‘double’ 160-bed care home and up to 50 new houses in the village of Stalmine have been deferred by Wyre’s planning committee to enable possible amendments.

Yet councillors had come close to rejecting the scheme at the meeting before reconsidering the decision

The unusual hybrid application sought full planning permission for a single care home split into two separate 80-bed buildings and outline planning permission for the 50 houses on land off Stricklands Lane.

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application, submitted under the name Mr Furness, was recommended for approval by planning officers.

But the scheme has attracted objections from residents.

They say the development will have a detrimental effect on the village because of its mass and scale, increase traffic and road safety fears, and be a potential addition to drainage and flooding issues.

Among those raising such concerns were the Stalmine-with-Staynall Residents’ Association, which put together a detailed objection letter outlining its concerns.

It fears the development and other large scale housing proposals will change the character of the village forever.

But although councillors at the meeting had a number of concerns about aspects of the care home part of the application, they did not have any such concerns over the housing aspect.

And after discussions on how best to proceed, they eventually agreed to defer the application to enable the applicant to come back with amended designs which might be considered more acceptable.

Resident Jonathan Holmes was among those who spoke at the meeting and told councillors: “A few of us living on the Linley Grange development put in objections.

“To find there was going to be an 160 bed, two and a half storey care home backing onto our homes was quite alarming for us all. The size is a concern.

“We can’t see how that building fits in with the village.”

He said the Lancashire County Council traffic assessment had taken place at 11am during lockdown and did not present an accurate picture of the traffic situation, taking into consideration the comings and goings of staff and visitors at the home.

Calling for the scheme to be rejected, Coun Julie Robinson said: “The care home’s size and scale is overbearing and it will have an impact on traffic safety.”

But Paul Sedgewick, representing the applicant, said: “This application has the benefit of a detailed report from the planning officer.

“It concludes that there is no reasonable objection to the scheme and that it should be given planning permission.”

Wyre’s chief planning officer, David Thow, said the application was not in conflict with the Local Plan.

After hearing that it was not possible to “split” the decision by accepting the houses but rejecting the care homes, Coun Phil Orme proposed to reject the proposals in total, based on the scale and mass of the development being unsuitable for the site. This was seconded by Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins.

However, further debate led to a second proposal by Coun Peter Le Marinel, seconded by Coun Mary Stirzaker, that the application be deferred to a later date and be sent back to the applicant to amend the plans to a design deemed more acceptable.