Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nursing Home expansion plans still too much

Expansion plans by the nursing Home at 369 Cherry Hinton Road were reviewed at a development control forum at the City Council last week.

These forums are designed to bring the applicants and objectors together prior to deciding on a planning application to see if objections can be resolved. A previous application for the site was turned down by East Area committee, after objectors, including Coleridge Conservatives successfully argued that the expansion was an overdevelopment of the site that would introduce problems with car parking and delivery van obstruction on Kelvin Close.

The latest plans seem to be essentially the same - a pair of semi detached houses on the close will be bulldozed and the building increased in size by about 50%. The key change is to move the entrance to the building to discourage delivery from Kelvin Close.

Having listened to the arguments, I agree with the objectors' representative at the meeting that this revised application really doesn't fix the problems. There will still be delivery from the road, and plans for the car parking spaces to only increase by 1 despite the significant increase in size of the home will only add to problems on the road - this application is still to much for the site.

It was particularly disappointing to hear the response from the highways department at the County Council that they thought the applicants had a 'reasonable approach to avoiding an overprovision of car parking spaces' and parking on the road won't cause a problem. It is clear to me that parking could be a significant problem - yes we need to encourage alternatives to car travel, by artificially reducing car parking spaces on new developments such that demand for parking spills into neighbouring roads isn't the solution.

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