Conditional approval has been given for demolition work to go ahead and a new care home constructed within the heart of Harrogate.
Springfield Healthcare plan to introduce a 102 bed facility which will offer residential, dementia and end of life care on Harcourt Road near Skipton Road after Harrogate Borough Council planners gave approval last Thursday (October 19).
The facility will be spread between a main home, an 80 bed building spread across 'three communities' along with a smaller 22 room development for smaller single sex communities.
Harrogate based Group CEO, Graeme Lee said “ I can’t wait to get started on this latest project which builds on my vision for Springfield Healthcare, building care
homes in the very heart of the community which exceed expectations on every level and offer the very best care available.”
Plans show that the care home is to feature a cafe,cinema and an underground car park. They also suggest that the facility will be operated by 120 members of staff.
The existing warehouses and light industrial buildings on the site are to be demolished for the care home to be built.
Concerns have been raised over the potential development, with more than 25 objections listed on the planning application. Among them were concerns over the impact the site could have on parking.
Rosemary Linford wrote: "As a resident of Myrtle Square I am daily endangered by cars parked on the footpath in Mowbray Square making it impossible to see oncoming traffic when turning out of Myrtle Square. This is especially worrying when i cycle. Many of the parked cars remain all day as they seem to belong to people working locally.
She added: "Adding a new major facility to this community will inevitable lead to increased use of the already congested roads and to further parking in an area already beyond capacity."
The company however suggest that the introduction of the underground car park, with an increased number of spaces from 34 to 38 will help address this. Spaces are also available on the ground level and rear of the site, providing 46 altogether with 20 spaces for staff in planning documents.
Head of Marketing and Communications, Sally Rasmussen said “The underground carpark should allay the fears of many local residents who were concerned about
visitors taking up parking which is already in short supply in the area. We also hope that many of our future employees will be walking or cycling to work given our fantastic central location.”
Among the conditions put in place by the council was the development of a plan for how demolition work will be carried out, including the routes used by construction vehicles to and from the site. This was a concern raised by some of those objecting to the plans.
The Harcourt Road care facility is part of a multi-million pound expansion programme by the group, which is set to establish four further care villages in the future. It currently operates facilities in areas including York, Seacroft and Garforth.