Second new care home coming to Chard as plans approved

Artist's impression of 66-bed care home on the A358 Furnham Road in Chard
-Credit: (Image: LNT Care Developments)


Chard will be getting not one, but two new care homes in the coming months after proposals were approved by planning officers. Two separate proposals for new care homes in the town have been put forward in recent years - a 70-bed facility on the A30 East Street (submitted by the Maria Mallaband Care Group) and a 66-bed facility on the A358 Furnham Road (submitted by LNT Care Developments).

Both developments have been considerably delayed as a result of the ongoing phosphates crisis, with each developer having to secure additional mitigation to prevent damage to the Somerset Levels and Moors. Mere days after approving the East Street proposals, Somerset Council has given the green light to the Furnham Road plans - which will bring more than 50 extra jobs to the town on top of the East Street care home.

The LNT site lies on the eastern side of Furnham Road and has been marketed by Greenslade Taylor Hunt for development site since 2019. Access to the site would be from Furnham Road, just south of the existing junction with Thorndun Park Drive - which will serve the access road to a planned new development of 295 homes and a new stadium for Chard Town Football Club.

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The proposed care home will have 66 beds, arranged over two storeys, and will create the equivalent of 52 full-time jobs. In addition to en suite wet room facilities in every room, the care home will include a café/ bar area, dining rooms, lounges, a library, garden room, cinema and hairdressers.

A spokesman for the developer said: "Residents will benefit from a range of facilities that reflect modern day-to-day amenities that provide a choice of entertainment, encourage socialisation and provide good well-being. Wide corridors are provided to allow ease of movement, interesting features and an open and social environment throughout the care home.

Artist's impression of 66-bed care home on the A358 Furnham Road in Chard
Artist's impression of 66-bed care home on the A358 Furnham Road in Chard -Credit:LNT Care Developments

"The whole development is easily navigable, with key recreational/ communal facilities clearly signposted and located in central areas to foster socialisation and inclusion." LNT Care Developments secured permission for an identical facility on Highfield Road in Yeovil in October 2023, and is currently consulting on proposals for another identical care home within the Killams Park development in Taunton.

Somerset Council and its predecessors have been working for many years to secure the delivery of the Chard eastern relief road (ERR), which is intended to connect the A358 Tatworth Road to the A358 Furnham Road (via the A30 Crewkerne Road) to take traffic away from the town centre. Only one section of the entire ERR has been delivered to date - namely Oaklands Avenue, which runs north from A30 Crewkerne Road through the Oakwood estate (built by Morrish Homes) and currently terminates at the Chard Reservoir car park.

To enable the eventual delivery of the ERR section between this car park and Furnham Road, a strip of land is being left vacant between the new care home and the proposed Welcome Home Farm development of 67 houses. To overcome the phosphate issues relating to the site, the developer will purchase phosphate credits in order to fund mitigation elsewhere in the catchment area (such as creating wetlands or planting trees).

The plans were approved by the council's planning officers through their delegated powers, rather than a public decision by its planning committee south (which handles major applications within the former South Somerset area). Mickey Green, the council's executive director for climate and place, said: "The proposal will provide much needed care accommodation of an appropriate scale and design in a highly sustainable location without adversely impacting upon highway safety, biodiversity, visual and residential amenity."

Construction on both of the new care homes is expected to begin by the end of the year.