Residents object to plan for care home

An application to turn a former nursing home in Great Cornard into 12 flats has been labelled “a development for the desperate” by residents.

Great Cornard Parish Council objected to the application for a change of use for The Firs in Kings Hill to residential use on Monday due to concerns over the size and number of the flats and potential traffic and parking problems.

The home offered 24-hour care for up to 32 residents and closed last year.

Speaking at the meeting, Michael Fitt, council manager, read councillor Tony Bavington’s notes stating there is a shortage of one and two-bedroom flats in the district but this type of accommodation often suffers from poor design.

Planning committee chairman Pam White said: “People shouldn’t be made to live in a small flat because we are in desperate need.”

Councillor John Sayers added: “Every time there is an application near Bures Road it is taken in isolation. That whole road is getting clogged and dangerous.”

The parish council recommended a site visit by Babergh District Council officers.

Speaking after the meeting on behalf of 10 residents who attended, neighbour Roy Lamb said: “We have come to express how strongly we feel about this development for the desperate.”

He said the 12 flats are only 68 per cent of the size of RIBA recommendations on average, with “unsuitable” communal laundry facilities.

Mr Lamb added that residents were concerned over the owner’s upkeep of the building, the possibility of additional noise from the flats and loss of privacy for neighbours.

The application will go before Babergh District Council at a later date.