Care home to replace planned school within major Taunton housing estate

Artist's impression of 66-bed care home on Cutliffe Road in Taunton
Artist's impression of 66-bed care home on Cutliffe Road in Taunton -Credit:LNT Care Developments

A major Somerset housing estate could soon have a new care home at its heart instead of a new school. Summerfield Developments are currently in the later stages of constructing the Killams Park development on the southern edge of Taunton, which will eventually comprise 315 homes.

As part of the outline plans (which were approved by Taunton Deane Borough Council in December 2013), a parcel of land off Cutliffe Road in the northern section of the development was set aside for a new primary school. LNT Care Developments has now applied to build a 66-bed care home on this site instead - with Somerset Council expected to make a final decision on the plans before the end of the year.

The proposed care home would have 66 beds arranged over two storeys, with the designs being broadly similar to a care home the company will shortly be delivering on Highfield Road in Yeovil (and a similar complex off the A358 Furnham Road in Chard, which is awaiting approval). Access will be from Cutliffe Road, with 25 parking spaces being provided (including three accessible bays and six electric vehicle charging bays) along with eight cycle spaces and a drop-off areas for taxis and ambulances.

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The care homes will include cafés and dining room areas, along with quiet family lounges, a library, garden room, cinema and hairdressers. The western edge of the site will be considerably landscaped to provide an attractive garden space for residents and a pleasant buffer with the neighbouring countryside.

A spokesman for LNT Care Developments said: "The primary school element was initially proposed on the subject site, but has now not been brought to fruition. giving us an opportunity to provide a much-needed development. The site is located within a short distance of a number of desirable amenities, such as convenience stores and local pubs/ cafés, which creates an ideal environment for a care home development.

"The residential development in the immediate area to the east are predominantly two-storey in hight with a few three-storey homes in the wider area. There is an array of green open space to the west of the site providing attractive landscape for future residents."

Mr H. Cook, who lives on Stansell Road near the site, said the lack of parking within the proposed development would exacerbate existing traffic issues within the Killams Park estate. He said: "Our concern for this development is the provision of parking for staff and visitors.

"Looking at the pictures of the site, it appears there are around 24 or so spaces. The area around where the care home is to be built has narrow roads, and parking is a problem now without potentially more vehicles needing to park for a period of time.

Proposed site of 66-bed care home on Cutliffe Road in Taunton
Proposed site of 66-bed care home on Cutliffe Road in Taunton

"An increase in traffic will be a problem as the students from Richard Huish college are using the area as a car park themselves. We also have a concern about the size of the water run-off from the car park and the roof to the building, which would lead to an overload of the drainage system.

"Our gardens are waterlogged in the winter months as it is. The system seems unable to cope at the moment without anything adding to it."

The council is expected to make a final decision on the plans later in the year. It is not presently clear whether this decision will be taken in public by its planning committee west (which handles major applications in the former Somerset West and Taunton area) or through the delegated powers of its planning officers.