The full planning application to build a 64 bedded care home by B&M Care has now been submitted to SODC on the old Youth Centre site in Deanfield Avenue. At the Henley Town Council Planning Meeting this week, Councillors recommended refusal and said, “The application is not in accordance with policy SP9 of the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan, which allocates the site for 23 new homes. The proposals do not meet the housing needs of the people of the town and are not in line with Primary Objective HO4 of the JHHNP: To deliver an appropriate range and mix of housing to achieve a balanced community and in particular help meet the needs of those age and income groups who have difficulty finding homes in Henley.”
B&M Care bought the site in 2015 for £3m from Thamesfield Youth Association and legally they don’t have to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy for infrastructure improvements as care homes and residential institutions are not liable. B&M Care run 23 care homes in four counties including Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
The application covering letter states, “It is considered that the proposed Care Home for the elderly to provide 65 care home bed spaces is acceptable in this town settlement location. The site is located in a sustainable position in respect to public transport needs, nearby shops, employment and other services within a reasonable walking distance. Care homes for the elderly make an important contribution to the social fabric of a town and integrate well into the community. The activity associated with a care home is considered low key and neighbourly. The demand for care home spaces for the elderly in South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire as a whole is ever increasing, given an aging population.”
Residents are urged to object to another care home being built by submitting their comments on the application. The consultation is open until 7 April. To make a comment go to http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/ccm/ The target decision date is 26 May 2017.