100 jobs could be on the way to Soham if, as expected, 70 bedroom care home, children’s nursery and homes get approved
PUBLISHED: 14:03 31 December 2019
Up to 100 jobs will be created if, as expected, approval is given for a four acre site in Soham to provide a 70 bedroom care home, 18 homes and a children’s nursery.
Planners recommended the scheme - put forward by Frontier Estates - for approval. The site is east of 2 The Shade and owned by developer Colin Murfitt.
Frontier says the care home will be high quality and designed for the elderly with high dependency. It has told the council that the existing provision within the catchment area for the home provides 131 bed spaces but much is of older stock.
Only 34 of the bed spaces are registered with the Care Quality Commission to provide nursing care.
Frontier says the current shortfall in provision is equivalent to 255 bed spaces which is expected to rise to 344 by 2025.
"The site lends itself well to this proposed mix of uses to enhance the provision of facilities for the town," says a report by Frontier to the council.
"The company is well versed in developing mixed use schemes where additional uses complement their care use."
The care home will be laid out in a series of groups of residents' en-suite rooms, each group with independent lounges and dining rooms and with facilities for assisted bathing.
The entrance to the home will open to a social hub space with bistro, private dining room, cinema room and hairdresser.
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"In addition to the hub bistro there will be a variety of dining rooms to avoid any institutional sense of a large common 'canteen' space," says Frontier. "The creation of a children's nursery adjacent to the care home meets a growing understanding for intergenerational planning."
The two storey nursery will provide day care for up to 60 children in the age range of under two to five years old.
The site originally had planning permission for 88 houses.
The application would not normally have gone to committee, says an officers' report, but needed approval by members because of the reduction from 30 to 20 per cent in the provision of affordable housing.
Of 42 neighbouring properties invited to comment on the application, only four responses were received.
The council says comments ranged from those welcoming the change of application from all housing to those concerned about drainage, landscaping and tree planting.
One comment was that the proposals "provide badly needed services and should have the council's full support".
Council officers say that one of feature of the care home is the plan to open up some of the facilities - such as hairdressers, cinema room and dining spaces - for use by the public and community groups.
They say this will help to "integrate the home with the local area and provide a busy and vibrant atmosphere".