THE company behind a controversial Hartford care home plan which was recently rejected for a second time wants to make it ‘third time lucky’ with a new bid.
The firm also hit out at what it called ‘political influence swayed by nimbyism’, saying it was prepared to take the plans to a public enquiry.
Nimby stands for ‘not in my back yard’ and is sometimes used to refer to residents who oppose developments in their local area.
New Care Ltd had submitted two plans in the last two years to knock down 433, 435 and 437 Chester Road and build a 69-bed care home in their place.
Both schemes had been recommended for approval by planning officers but were turned down by planning committee members at meetings in July and December last year.
Both decisions were then appealed by New Care, and both appeals were thrown out by government planning inspectors.
The schemes prompted a fierce backlash from residents, councillors and town’s MP Mike Amesbury, citing concerns over the look of the proposed home, local infrastructure and over development.
Following the most recent planning inspector decision earlier this week, local residents spoke of their ‘relife’. But the company has pledged to try again.
Chris McGoff, CEO at New Care, said: “Whilst the recent rejection at appeal was disappointing, the New Care philosophy is that we can never have a bad appeal decision.
“This is because the Inspector tends to take a very pragmatic approach and forms their decision based on true planning facts and not on political influence swayed by a small minority of nimbyism objection.”
He said they had received ‘a lot of positive commentary’ about what was deemed acceptable and said they would now evolved the scheme and go again.
He added: “As they say, third time lucky and if the committee don’t go with it next time, then maybe as a company we take this further and have the full debate via public inquiry.
“This would be an utter shame, given the current out-dated social care system and the fact that many of the existing local care homes would fail to meet today’s CQC registration requirements, building regulations and fire standards.
“It would also place a further cost burden on us and the council whilst we seek permission for this home. Totally unnecessary, especially as several planning officers have supported the scheme twice.”