Anger as government approves care village
ACARE village for up to 104 elderly people will be built in Birkdale after the developers won an appeal for planning permission.
Sefton Council had initially refused plans to build the centre on the site of the former Sunshine House blind school on Oxford Road, but the Government has overruled the decision.
Building work is now expected to begin before the end of 2017.
Planning officers denied permission in March 2016, arguing that the scale and design would ‘ present an overdominant and unsympathetic development in the streetscene’ and ‘fail to respect the character and appearance of the West Birkdale Conservation Area’.
However, planning consultants Mosaic Town Planning took the appeal to the planning inspectorate on behalf of care provider Belong and the plans have now been approved.
Belong can now go ahead with the project, which will see the building of a new facility comprising 74 bedrooms and 30 supervised apartments, including a new car park. The former building will be demolished to make way for the facility, which will be part two storey and part three storey.
The decision has been slammed by West Birkdale Cllr Tony Dawson, who represents the Liberal Democrats.
Cllr Dawson said: “It is quite clear and totally depressing what the Government wants for Southport.
“More out of town shops to finish-off our town centre and concentrating more elderly peo- ple into the parts of town where we already have more very elderly people than anyone else has anywhere in the North West.
“They seem to have no concerns whatsoever about the cumulative impact of these policies on our local health and social services - and the effect this will have upon the adequacy of services available for the people who already live here.
“We might almost as well not have planning processes at all.”
Leon Armstrong, associate of Mosaic Town Planning, said: “We are pleased that the inspector has acknowledged the contribution this community care village will make to the surrounding conservation area.
“The site has been vacant for some time and has become a blot on the local landscape.landscape
“We believe that a Belong village is well suited to the location and can help to provide numerous benefits to those with care needs and the local community.”
Local councillor Tony Dawson has slammed the Government’s approval of plans for a care village on Oxford Road, Birkdale