Plan for Sutton care home rejected because too cramped after pandemic

Plans for a small, new care home in Sutton have been rejected because it would be too cramped in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Richard Silverwood
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 3:40 pm

Ashfield District Council has turned down the proposal to convert a detached, four-bedroom house on Craster Street into a home caring for up to five people.

The residents would have been 18-to-65-year-olds with mental health issues, learning disabilities or physical disabilities. And staff, working shifts, would have been on site 24 hours a day.

Behind the plan was the Milton Keynes-based Gemini Exclusive Care, an established company that has been providing community care for more than ten years.

The home on Craster Street in Sutton would have provided care for up to five residents.

Gemini organised a consultation meeting with neighbours in February. Eight residents turned up, and all were in favour of the care home amid fears that the property could, instead, be turned into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO).

However, the council was not happy with the proposed layout of the plan which, it felt, would “fail to provide basic, mininum amenities, to the detriment” of residents.

Officers pointed out that, since the pandemic and its associated lockdowns, a “greater reliance” was placed on private, outdoor space at care homes, “supporting the health and wellbeing of users”.

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However, the original layout for Craster Street included only a small patio at the back. And when a revised plan was submitted, the garden was not private and still not big enough.

It was “considered to be unacceptable”, said the officers, and also resulted in restricting the amount of off-street parking space at the site.

With doubts also raised about space for the storage of wheelie-bins, the council feared the layout would lead to “more opportune on-street parking”, potentially producing “an unacceptable impact” on road safety.

In conclusion, the council felt the care home would “represent a cramped and contrived form of development” that would not provide a suitable standard of living for the residents.

Gemini Exclusive Care stressed that the home would have been registered with the Care Quality Commission.

It would have operated as a "step down unit from more acute care for residents who needed assistance in becoming independent in the community again”.

No changes would have been made to the external appearance of the house.

The Chad has approached the company for a comment.