HASLEMERE Town Council has raised no objection to plans for a 74-bed care home on the site of the Andrews of Hindhead garden machinery business on Portsmouth Road.
The plans, submitted on behalf of ME Hindhead Limited, Seetwo Developments Limited and Hamberley Properties FV (Hindhead) Limited, include associated car parking, landscaping and vehicular access following the demolition of the existing buildings and structures.
The town council is only a consultee on planning applications, with Waverley Borough Council (WBC) making the final decision.
Despite raising no objection to the application, Haslemere’s planning committee discussed a number of concerns last Thursday.
Concerns included sewerage, strain on local GP services, an excess of care homes in the vicinity, parking, traffic and design.
Some of these concerns are not material planning considerations and others – such as sewerage – have been commented on by Thames Water, which has no objection to the application.
The number of rooms has been reduced by two because of the objections to overlooking properties.
The design of the exterior has now added gables to windows and doors, and the parking allocation conforms with WBC standards of parking at care homes.
There will be CCTV and parking enforcement will be used to ticket people with no valid reason for parking on site.
However, councillors still have concerns that parking may be pushed out to surrounding streets and the impact that the increased traffic, particularly during shift changes, will have on the area.
More than 30 members of the public have also objected – and last October a doctor’s surgery and hospital trust warned the care home planned for the Andrews of Hindhead site would lead to cancelled operations and put patient safety in the area at risk.
Responding to the initial plans, Grayshott Surgery said there is already an “unusually high” number of care homes in the area, which have a quarter of their beds unoccupied – it already serves 18 care homes with 450 beds.
Adding another would place it under “an unprecedented strain”, while the NHS Surrey Heartlands clinical commissioning group (CCG) also strongly objected to the application, saying: “There is no need for any more nursing and dementia beds in the Hindhead area, which is already well served.”
Cllr John Robini confirmed that the application will be coming before the WBC Western Planning committee soon.
The town council’s planning committee voted no objection, but wants its concerns about parking and traffic raised to the planning officer at WBC.