October 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The owner of a former care home near Ely has been given the all-clear to convert the building into a boarding house for farm workers – just a few months after plans for new apartments were refused.
Sri Ratnasinkam told planning officials at East Cambridgeshire District Council that he was approached by a farmer who wanted to rent the property for up to five years to house farm staff.
Just three months ago, plans to transform the building into 24 apartments were refused by the district council’s planning team.
Fenland Lodge, on the A142 Soham Road, was officially taken off the Care Quality Commission’s register as a care home in September last year having sat empty since 2011.
The building was purchased by Mr Ratnasinkam, of Burgess Hill, West Sussex, in April 2013 but he said that it proved unviable to continue it as a care business.
Instead, plans were entered to convert the home into a residential development of 24 apartments.
But the council took a dim view of the application, saying that it was too small to house the number of apartments and was too close to the main road.
Agents acting for Mr Ratnaskinkam said a caretaker was currently living on site and would be charged with the upkeep of the facilities when the workers moved in.
Approving the plans, council officer Rebecca Saunt added two conditions; that the bus picking workers up would not stop on the public highway and that the landlord would produce plans for 15 cycle spaces at the facility.