Care home extension refused over road safety fears
Scaled-back plans to extend a Bristol care home have been refused after more than 100 residents objected, saying it would make the road even more dangerous.
It is the second time Meadowcare Homes has sought permission to add extra rooms to Glenview Nursing Home in Redland and been rebuffed by a city council planning committee.
The latest application, to add 14 beds to the 40-bed dementia facility in Belvedere Road, was unanimously rejected by councillors on June 9 after a previous proposal for 17 extra beds was also refused in a decision that was backed at appeal.
The street is home to three care homes, two of which are owned by Meadowcare. It lies just outside a residential parking zone.
Residents told councillors road safety was already a “huge” problem because of the number of vehicles associated with the care homes and that it takes about “10 to 20 minutes” to find a parking space.
They said the existing parking and traffic problems caused “a lot of aggressive driving” and would result in an accident if nothing was done about it.
An agent for Meadowcare Homes said two new service bays proposed for Belvedere Road as part of the application would “resolve the problems”.
But a council officer said the service bays would mean the loss of four parking spaces in an area that was already “oversubscribed”, and recommended the application for refusal.
He said: “The proposed development would result in an increased demand for on-street car parking in an area which is already oversubscribed and that would lead to congestion and conflict between road users, and that would result in harm to highway safety.”
Some 112 people objected to the application while 109 wrote in support.
The meeting heard that, if the Glenview extension went ahead, six of the 21 buildings on Belvedere Road would be used as care homes and the street would be home to 108 patients compared with an estimated 90 residents.
Two members of the public who spoke in support of the application said care homes ought to be supported and not “viewed as a stigma”.
Opponents asked councillors to reject the application for the same three reasons they refused the first application in May last year: parking and traffic problems, noise and disturbance, and an “overconcentration” of care homes on the street.
But the planning officer noted the only valid reason for refusal, according to the government inspector who dismissed Meadowcare’s appeal in March, was traffic and parking.
Two planning committee members expressed some qualms about rejecting plans for much-needed dementia beds on that basis, as Bristol has “too many cars” and it could set a “precedent”.
But others thought the extension was a “step too far” in terms of road safety.
Cllr Fabian Breckels said: “This is an area where somebody could get killed if we allow the highway situation there where there’s already a problem to actually get worse.”