Sec­ond care home plan for Birkdale

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @jamie_Lopez1

PLAN­NING per­mis­sion for a Birkdale care home is set to be ap­proved by Sefton Coun­cil - just days af­ter the gov­ern­ment ap­proved an­other one on the same road.

Coun­cil of­fi­cers have rec­om­mended ap­prov­ing a new fa­cil­ity, which will vary be­tween two, three, four and five storeys high, on the cor­ner of Ox­ford Road and West­bourne Road. The site is cur­rently sur­rounded by solid blue fenc­ing and de­scribed by res­i­dents as an ‘eye­sore’.

The ap­pli­ca­tion has been sub­mit­ted by the Athena Group, who run Park­lands Lodge in South­port and Abbey Wood Lodge in Orm­skirk.

The pro­posal is a mod­i­fi­ca­tion of plans which were sub­mit­ted by the same com­pany in Septem­ber 2015 and later with­drawn in May 2016.

Last week, the Gov­ern­ment ap­proved plans for a care vil­lage for up to 104 el­derly peo­ple on the site of the for­mer blind school on Ox­ford Road. That pro­posal had been re­jected by Sefton Coun­cil, but the de­ci­sion was sub­se­quently over­turned by the plan­ning in­spec­torate.

The plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion states that the new fa­cil­ity will re­sult in the cre­ation of “a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber” of full-time jobs.

It states: “The pro­posal is to cre­ate a be­spoke care fa­cil­ity that will of­fer the high­est level of ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able lo­cally, and to re­gen­er­ate a site that has been va­cant for a num­ber of years

“The pro­posal is for a part five storey, part four storey, part three storey, part two storey new build. This pro­vides the ac­com­mo­da­tion re­quired for the care home, whilst be­ing of an ap­pro­pri­ate scale within the street-scene.”

In the plan­ning of­fi­cer’s re­port, it is stated that ob­jec­tions had been re­ceived by 13 neigh­bour­ing res­i­dents, but there are not suf­fi­cient grounds for the re­fusal of the plans.

It states: “The pro­posal is ac­cept­able in prin­ci­ple and would re­move a va­cant site in the West Birkdale Con­ser­va­tion Area. The scheme is of an ap­pro­pri­ate scale, mass­ing and de­sign that would not cause harm to the char­ac­ter of the West Birkdale Con­ser­va­tion Area or wider street scene.

“The pro­posal would cause some harm to No.1a West­bourne Road due to its prox­im­ity to a win­dow of a habitable room. How­ever, it is con­sid­ered that such harm would not be un­rea­son­able when con­sid­ered on balance.

“The pro­posal does not raise any other res­i­den­tial con­cerns both for ex­ist­ing or fu­ture res­i­dents.”

The plans will be de­cided at a Sefton Coun­cil plan­ning meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 18.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the new care home in Ox­ford Road, Birkdale

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