Hartford care home plan thrown out for second time

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RESIDENTS in Hartford who opposed plans for a new care home have spoken of their relief after government planning inspectors rejected the scheme for a second time.

New Care Ltd had submitted two planning applications in the past 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 Cheshire West and Chester Council planning officers last year, but were turned down by planning committee members at meetings in July and December.

New Care appealed the first decision but that was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in February.

It also appealed the second decision, but that has now also been knocked back.

On both occasions, the controversial scheme resulted in a fierce backlash from local residents and councillors as well as MP Mike Amesbury, citing fears about the look of the building not being in keeping with the surrounding area, overdevelopmemt and lack of local infrastructure.

A letter announcing the latest decision was sent to Northwich MP Mike Amesbury who shared it with local residents. The judgement said the appeal had been turned down because the design of the proposed home would cause ‘significant harm’ to the character and appearance of that part of Chester Road and the wider area.

Local resident Cliff Hall, said: “The residents feel relieved rather than victorious.

“Two planning applications and two appeals showed that there is a local voice to be heard and planning guidelines, such as Hartford’s Neighbourhood Plan, has substance and robustness in guiding local development.

“We are prepared for whatever might happen next.”

Mr Amesbury, added: “This is a victory for the residents of the local community

“The local infrastructure has been under strain for some time and this was an overdevelopment that would have put even more strain on resources.

“I’m pleased to have helped as the local MP.”