Cornwall planning: 'No mass development here' say angry care home neighbours

Residents of Par make their feelings known
-Credit: (Image: CornwallLive)

Plans to build a 76-bed home in a Cornish village to improve dementia care have come under attack by concerned residents. Neighbours have erected signs accusing the proposal of being too big and urging "no mass development here".

Plans were unveiled at the beginning of May for a purpose-built care home to replace the existing Hendra Court home on St Andrews Road, Par, near St Austell. The plans were submitted by architectural practice Poynton Bradbury Architects on behalf of Cornwallis Care Services.

According to the application, the Local Neighbourhood Plan shows that the parish of Tywardreath and Par has an ageing demographic with one in four residents living with a limiting, long-term illness. Managing director of Cornwallis Care Services, Stuart Clarkson, said: “The plans for increased dementia and mental health beds in Par are critical for Cornwall Council to achieve their strategy for care home provision. Put quite simply, there is insufficient care provision for dementia health nursing in mid Cornwall.”

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The proposed development would see the demolition of 18 existing care bedrooms and the construction of a replacement four-storey care home, supporting residents with dementia and nursing needs. The building would be arranged into three wings of sleeping accommodation centred around a communal wing where residents share domestic-scale living spaces and activity rooms, which are designed to foster social interaction.

However, many local people aren't happy with the proposals. Signs have been put up in the area saying "No 4-storey development here", "No 4-storey Hendra Court Heights", "No mass development here" and "Too big 4 here". Cornwall Council's online planning portal currently features 150 comments from members of the public who are against the plans.

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Residents of Par make their feelings known
Residents of Par make their feelings known -Credit:CornwallLive

Claire Best wrote: "This is a completely ridiculous idea. Our road is constantly flooded; the worst part is the entrance to Hendra Court. Even light rain does not drain and forms an almost permanent puddle. Any development on St Andrews Road needs to be in keeping with the rest. It has to be the same height and type of building. The fact that it is on the hill means that only a one-storey bungalow would be appropriate, not four storeys. It would take over the hill and obliterate the views of all the surrounding houses."

Veronica Martin added: "I am appalled that anyone would think that they could build such an overbearing, massive building ... this proposal is totally domineering for [neighbouring houses] Woodside and Treetops and will destroy their way of life. All for 26 extra beds. Cornwallis say it will help reach St Austell's target of 64 extra care home beds by 2033 but the newly approved Penny's Lane care home provides all 64 of those - job done."

"Existing and planned care home capacity is sufficient to meet the projected need for an additional 64 beds by 2033 within the St Austell Healthcare Primary Care Network, including Old Roselyon Manor, Rosehill House, Trecarrel, and Penny's Lane in the Par area, before even considering St. Austell," wrote Oliver Jackson.

A large number of people have aired concerns about the prospect of increased flooding in an area which is classed as an Environment Agency Flood Zone 3. The EA itself has stated: "We object to the proposed development as submitted because it involves the use of a non-mains foul drainage system but no assessment of the risks of pollution to the water environment has been provided by the applicant."

The proposed new Hendra Court care home, right, in relation to an exisiting historic house
The proposed new Hendra Court care home, right, in relation to an exisiting historic house -Credit:Poynton Bradbury Architects

Mr Clarkson, from Cornwallis, said Cornwall Council favours building new care homes and creating dementia-friendly environments over a reliance on changes to existing care home buildings to improve living standards. He added: “New care homes enable the provision of technology-enabled care and this in turn promotes independence.”

For more details about the application, PA24/02955, head here.