Care home improvements amount to ‘desecration’

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The extension of a Great Waldingfield care home is in danger of turning into a “desecration”, according to a councillor.

Qualitas Healthcare successfully applied for permission to enhance Brookwood Manor with a substantial refurbishment and extension in October.

However, with construction now under way, residents have claimed original leaded and stained-glass windows are being removed and destroyed, and replaced with plastic frames and plain glazing at the late-Victorian building.

Jenny Antill, district councillor for the area, said these changes had not formed part of the original planning application.

“We saw no reason to oppose the measures in the plans as they appeared to be sympathetic,” she said.

“But the owners have ripped out a number of attractive windows and replaced them with unsightly and inappropriate plastic alternatives.”

Mrs Antill said it was believed the original windows had been thrown away, a move which she saw as an act of “vandalism”.

Officers from the council have been out to inspect the changes, but Mrs Antill said the best outcome would be for the owners to apply for retrospective planning consent.

“Despite the fact that planning permission for the changes to the windows should have been sought, the officers at Babergh seem to have been unable to do much about the desecration,” she said.

“This could have implications for the whole development, as if they are careless with this, you question if they will follow the rest of the plans to the letter.”