Parish council protests after developers switch care home for homes

Scotsdale Hill Fordham

Fordham parish council is delighted that a care home for the site edged in red (left) is now to be built. Hill and Scotsdale has found a buyer who will deliver it and have now dropped plans to build 21 more homes like those on the right after saying no buyer could be found for a care home. - Credit: Scotsdale Hill Fordham

A parish council has called time on ‘creeping planning approvals’ after a developer applied to ditch a care home in favour of 21 extra houses.  

Fordham parish council is determined to resist proposals by housebuilder Hill and Scotsdale garden centre. 

They have told East Cambs planners there was no interest in a care home for which they received permission. 

Bidwells confirmed sales particulars for the care home had been sent to 30 potential clients.  

None showed an interest, with responses ranging from ‘worried about staffing’ ‘catchment too small’ ‘Brexit - in regard to staff’ and ‘insufficient suitable population’. 

But the council believes the number of homes be kept the same, at 150, with the care home being provided in the final phase.  

“This will comply with the stipulation of a maximum of 150 dwellings and give more time for the marketing of the care home,” says the parish council. 

Most Read

It accepts there has been difficulty in marketing but point out that for the past year as sale would have been impossible to achieve because of Covid-19. 

“Care homes have had other more important issues to deal with during this time,” says the council. 

It wants Scotsdale Hill to persevere with the marketing.  

Failing that other “suitable community projects” should be considered. 

They have suggested sheltered housing, retirement flats or a pre-school rather than housing. 

The council says: “The infrastructure is overwhelmed; the school is at capacity.  

“There are no plans at all to improve the highway system or any infrastructure.  

“Residents have to travel out of the village to do their main shopping as the village just has one small convenience store and a small petrol station with shop attached.” 

It told East Cambs planners that Fordham cannot cope with any further growth and “that is a fact that has to be considered and addressed before more market housing growth.  

“A care home would have little effect on the infrastructure of the village with minimal traffic movement and the same would apply for any other community project”. 

It says the parish council supported the original plans because of the community facilities on offer. 

“It does not want to be misled yet again with creeping planning approvals”.