Care home extension gets the thumbs up

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The turnaround in fortunes of a Great Waldingfield care home is set to be completed after plans for an extension were approved.

Brookwood Manor – taken over by Qualitas Healthcare in 2011 after the previous two owners went into administration – is to benefit from significant investment in a bid to improve living standards for its residents.

Members of Babergh District Council’s development committee gave their support to proposals for an E-shaped extension in the grounds of the late-Victorian building yesterday.

“The current premises are in need of modernisation to provide better accommodation for residents,” said case officer John Davies.

As part of the work the building, which was converted into a care home in the late 1980s, will be refurbished with the lift being upgraded and the bedrooms increased in size and given en-suite bathrooms. The extension, linked by a glazed passage, will provide an additional 19 bedrooms, taking the number to 43.

Judy Ridderford, speaking on behalf of residents at nearby Holbrook Hall Park, said there were concerns about access along a narrow track off Lavenham Road and the 30-year-old sewage system.

“The driveway is inadequate and potentially dangerous,” she said.

The applicant’s agent Claire Richmond admitted the sewage system was not “fit for purpose”, but said the owner’s would make the investment needed to deal with the problems, while five new jobs would also be created.

Councillor Mary Munson said: “This would be a very big improvement. If nothing is done to this building, it will become dilapidated.”

Members agreed to approve the plans, on the condition that two passing points were implemented along the access route before construction began and the sewage system was updated.