Neighbours to battle nursing home conversion

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 August 2012

Rydenwood former nursing home, could be develped into affordable homes.

Rydenwood former nursing home, could be develped into affordable homes.

Archant

TWENTY-FIVE new affordable homes could be created at the site of a former Weston nursing home – unless neighbours manage to block the plan.

The Victorian-built Ryddenwood, in Bristol Road Lower, is currently subject to a planning bid to convert to 19 new homes, with six extra to be built in the grounds.

The property, close to Ashcombe Park, was originally a private home, but was later divided into flats and then converted into a nursing home in the 1980s.

The site has been empty for the past five years.

However, the latest application to 25 flats has provoked strong opposition from neighbours, with almost 30 formal objections logged with North Somerset Council by the time the Mercury went to press.

Objections relate to increased volume of traffic, loss of privacy for neighbours, and the fact a previous version of the application was for around half the number of homes now wanted.

One objector, Simon Tottle, said: “The high volume increase, whether it be social housing or not, will swamp the low density housing footprint that currently exists.

“Increased traffic, parking and noise pollution are just the tip of the iceberg for this badly thought plan, and any physical change to the beautiful facades of these elegant buildings would be corporate vandalism.”

A number of residents have also criticised the council for failing to properly notify them of the proposal.

Ward councillors for the area – John Crockford-Hawley, Mark Canniford and Robert Payne – have called in the application to be decided by committee rather than planning officers.

Cllr Crockford-Hawley said he felt the plan was ‘both sensitive and controversial’ and needed to be ruled upon by elected members.

However, Beachlands Developments Ltd, the firm behind the proposals, says it is making efforts to ensure the new development compliments the neighbourhood.

Its application says: “Local policies require that new development takes account of the immediate context within which it will be situated, accessibility, safety and security, layout and form, building exteriors and elevations, landscape treatment and environmental impact.

“Not only will the proposed new elements of the scheme accord with scale, height, massing and proportion of adjacent properties, but also the proposed materials accord with those used within the immediate area.

“These elements will ensure the scheme provided a positive and sensitive addition to the street scene.”

The council’s south area committee is likely to rule on the application in either September or October.


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