|WA/2005/1521||Erection of a two storey building to provide a 50-bed care home together with ancillary works (revision of WA/2005/0539) on land at Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh.|
|Grid Reference:||E: 503856 N: 138908|
|Ward :||Alfold, Cranleigh Rural and Ellens Green|
|Development Plan :||Countryside Beyond the Green Belt|
|Highway Authority :||Recommend conditions and informative to any grant of planning permission|
|Drainage Authority: ||Environment Agency:|
The Flood Risk Assessment has been previously accepted by the Agency.
The disused dry canal poses no flood risk to this site.
For any planning permission granted the Agency would require conditions to be imposed.
|Parish Council:||No objection. The Parish Council has identified an urgent need and significant requirement for affordable care home facilities for the elderly in Cranleigh and supports this application. However, whilst recognising the special nature of the site and not wishing to create a large area of concrete, we are concerned that the proposed car parking facilities are inadequate. Vehicles parked on the access road, in Elmbridge Village or on the Elmbridge Road would be dangerous and unsightly. There is a need for improved screening of the site to protect the amenity of residents of Forest Walk and The Wayside, Elmbridge Road, and further screening on the boundary with Elmbridge Road to protect the character and appearance of the area and to minimise any visual harm. Concerns were expressed about the proposed materials to be used in the external surfaces of the development, which it is thought could be intrusive in the rural landscape. |
|Representations:||One letter of comment (Trustee of the Wey and Arun Canal Trust and Waverley resident) stating the following:-|
1. PPG13 states that proposals for waterside development should seek to enhance the use, enjoyment and setting of the adjacent waterway.
2. SCC Policy SE10 states that Local Planning Authorities will “identify and protect corridors for the Basingstoke and Wey and Arun Canals.”
3. The development of the care home needs to reflect the accelerating pace of restoration of the Wey and Arun Canal and enhance rather than distract from the waterway leisure corridor that is being created. Please ensure therefore that the physical route of the canal is not infringed in any way by this development.
Eight Letters of concern stating the following:-
1. The footpath is often used by residents of the retirement home, which currently is safe and tree lined. The proposed shared access along this drive will result in its loss to residents of the retirement village.
2. Do not want to see a loss of the trees along this road.
3. Have no objection to the building of a care home, but cannot see why a new roadway access cannot be created directly off the Elmbridge Road.
4. The care home will add to the frequency of use of Essex Drive resulting in extra traffic hazard.
5. Wonder what the remainder of the site will be used for in the future.
6. The proposed building is sited too close to the boundary of the retirement village.
7. Parking provision within the development is extremely limited leading to pressure along Essex Drive and within the retirement home itself.
8. Concerned that existing bus service will not be run as frequently.
27 letters of objection stating the following:-
1. Elmbridge Road is already over-burdened with traffic, the development will add greatly to these problems.
2. Will create an additional hazard at the bridge which has priority passing in one direction.
3. Development is sited too close to the retirement village, directly affecting privacy of residents in Abbey Close and Forest Walk.
4. A meeting of the retirement village residents association attended by 100 people, the majority of which were against the proposal.
5. Consider the existing entrance would need widening by the developers.
6. Inadequate parking provision for proposed development bearing in mind the staff, visitors and health professionals that will visit.
7. SCC have not been approached by the developers with regard to the provision of another entrance road off Elmbridge Road.
8. It is wrong that this "green" land should be used in this way as it may set a precedent.
9. Disagree that there is any synergy, as described within the applicant’s supporting statement, between the proposed care home and existing retirement village.
10. There will be loss of mature trees and shrubs along the walkway of Essex Drive.
11. Noise and disturbance from the new care home.
12. Residents of the existing retirement home come from far and wide, therefore when the time comes that a care home is needed they are likely to find a home closer to next of kin.
13. Application should be rejected as site situated within Countryside Beyond the Green Belt, which is to be protected for its own sake.
14. The applicant has not demonstrated that there was no suitable alternative site. One such site could be on land adjoining the junction with Elmbridge Road and Guildford Road (on the Garden Centre side of the junction). Others include Dunsfold Aerodrome and Longfield Nursing home, which is due to close shortly.
15. The anticipated levels of admissions from the retirement village are very sketchy.
16. A permanent ban should be placed on the remainder of the land to prevent other development.
17. The developers should be required to undertake or make payments for works to Essex Drive and the public B2130.
|Surrey Wildlife Trust||There are no major alterations to the site layout and as such we have not additional comments to make. Our comments in our letter regarding the original application dated 11th April 2005 still stand (summarised below):-
1. The requirement for Great Crested Newt and reptile surveys and mitigation should be a condition of any planning permission|
2. The requirement for a bat survey and any necessary mitigation should be a condition of the development.
3. The woodland planting proposed as part of the landscaping of the site should consist of locally native species. We support the recommendation in the ecological assessment to leave species rich buffers along the boundaries of the species poor grassland area. The management of the more natural areas on the site should be outlined in a brief management plan for the site which should also specify who will be responsible for the carrying out of the management.
4. We support the recommendation made by the Environment Agency to control surface water run-off by using a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS).
5. Providing such comments are taken into account, we have no objection in principal to the development on this site
|Surrey County Council South West Area Management Team Adults and Community Care||Cranleigh has very few facilities for affordable nursing and residential care and therefore Surrey County Council, Adult and Community Care Service would not object to the proposal to build a new care home in the village.|
However, although the proposed care home would benefit the general population, unless the facility were costed at an affordable rate, within the County Council guidelines it is unlikely that older people we work with would benefit.
There is a severe shortage of skilled care in this area, and I can see no thought of this issue in the report presented.
|Surrey County Council - Strategic Consultation||Strategic comments.
I am responding to your request for strategic comments on the above proposals, received under cover of your letter dated 21 March. The following are informal comments.|
The County Council were consulted on the previous application for a 50 bed care home at Elmbridge Village (under reference WA/2005/0539). Our response was contained in our letter dated 15 April.
We accepted that there is a growing need for elderly care facilities within the County and that a business case could be made for the facility as proposed. Nevertheless, the site is Greenfield and the site failed to comply adequately with the requirements of the spatial strategy of the Structure Plan in respect of accessible locations to support sustainable development. We noted that alternative sites had been assessed, and that there appeared to be no overriding reason why the Elmbridge Village site had been chosen, beyond the proximity of the adjacent sheltered housing development on former County land. We therefore felt that the proposals failed to demonstrate adequately that the development would be accessible to the wider community being served or that there was an overriding case in relation to the general principles of satisfying social and community needs. We also considered that the submission was deficient in reference to the principles of sustainable design and build under "Surrey Design", and in relation to the used of renewable energy. We therefore objected on a number of strategic policy grounds. We raised no objection in relation to landscaping policy or on strategic transportation grounds.
We, nevertheless, considered that it was for the Borough Council to be convinced by all the circumstances, including the need for the facility in this location, that an exception could be made.
The paramount emphasis of the spatial strategy of the Plan remains the achievement of sustainable development. Policies therefore seek to direct new development to existing urban areas in order to promote more sustainable patterns of development, the efficient use of urban land, and to protect the Green Belt and countryside. The revised proposals are very similar to before and consist of a 50 bed care home for the elderly. The site is situated within countryside beyond Green Belt.
Sustainability and need
The case rests substantially on the need for the facility and the suitability of the location. The applicants recognise that planning policies would normally resist such development. In this respect, the applicants again submit detailed documentation indicating that general and local needs to serve the elderly can be accommodated on the site reasonably. The submission indicates that there is evidence of a shortfall of care facilities in the Cranleigh area.
As before, our view is that, under Structure Plan Policy LO1 concerning the proper location of development, and Policy LO4 concerning the protection of the countryside, development in the countryside is to be restricted to small scale development in settlements, or away from settlements where it is needed to support rural activities. The current therefore proposals remain contrary to the basic spatial strategy of the Structure Plan and the objective of controlling development in open countryside in more isolated locations.
Policy DN12 requires local authorities to identify sites for social and community needs at locations easily accessible to the community being served. In this respect, we take note of the comments of the County’s Adults and Community Care Service wherein there is acknowledgement of the scarcity of such facilities for the elderly in Cranleigh, but some concern over the likely affordability of the private service and the lack of local skilled care staff. We would agree that the site exhibits some advantages for the location of a care facility as proposed, and under the terms laid out in the submitted justification statement and business plan.
We reiterate that it is for the Borough to determine whether the development can be accepted as an exception to policy on the basis of the need evidence submitted. In this respect, it remains our view that, if an exception is to be the case, the proposals should also exhibit close compliance with policies for improved accessibility, sustainable design and build, and environmental policies including adequate mitigation measures to reduce the impact of development on the countryside.
The supporting statement submitted by the applicants demonstrates a need for additional residential care facilities for the elderly in this part of Surrey. The site lies adjacent to the Elmbridge Village retirement community and the development will draw some of its patients from this community. The applicants maintain that no alternative suitable site could be found within the urban area or the surrounding area for this development and that, in combination, these factors constitute exceptional circumstances justifying a departure from the development plan.
It is accepted that there is a growing need for accommodation for the frail elderly, and that the residents of any development will not generally be physically mobile and therefore have less need to be close to existing facilities or transport links, although there is a need for the development to be accessible for staff and visitors. Furthermore, it is accepted that proximity to Elmbridge Village will enable the better care of some of the frail elderly currently living within the village.
However, whilst the application suggests that alternative locations at Baynards Park and Cranleigh Brickworks have been considered, there is little in the way of detailed analysis to demonstrate that either site is inappropriate. Furthermore, there is no analysis of suitable alternative sites within the urban area of Cranleigh or nearby settlements.
In these circumstances, it is our view that the revised proposals have failed to adequately demonstrate that the development will be accessible to the community being served, or that there is an overriding case in relation to the requirement to satisfy social and community needs. Objection is therefore maintained under Policy DN12. No departure from Policies LO1 and LO4 would appear to be justified.
We would also re-iterate that Policy SE2 requires a minimum of 10% energy requirements of development to be generated by renewable means. The Borough should seek the submission of a sustainability report to indicate a commitment to energy efficiency as a function of design and build and occupation, including the achievement of a "very high" or "excellent" BREEAM rating for buildings. Building design and construction can potentially comply with the requirements of sustainable design and build required under Policy SE4. We also consider that, as before, the submission deals adequately with traffic, flooding and landscaping issues. Also, as before, archaeological investigation would be advisable to comply with Policy SE5.
Finally, it is for the Borough Council to be satisfied by all the circumstances, including need for the development, that an exception can be justified. Should permission be considered departure procedures may be a requirement.