'Massive arrogance' jibe as 'out of scale' care home plans thrown out

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 December 2012

An artist's impression of the care home which had been planned for Bericot Way.

An artist's impression of the care home which had been planned for Bericot Way.

Archant

CAMPAIGNERS are "delighted" after plans to build a controversial three-storey care home on a WGC green space were thrown out.

They had been fighting Quantum Care’s proposal to throw up a 75-room complex in Bericot Way, Panshanger, which they thought was “out of scale” with surrounding buildings.

Officers at Welwyn Hatfield Council agreed and it looks as if the County Hall-owned land will remain undeveloped – at least for now.

They also took issue with the lack of car parking, windows which would peer into neighbouring homes, lack of infrastructure, and its “visually dominating” appearance.

Sandra Surendran, who organised a campaign against the plan, said: “We are all delighted, the community as a whole is delighted.

“It’s what we personally would want and [it is good] for the whole area, we all held together and having done that it is good to see what can be achieved and common sense has prevailed.

“We were not against a care home as such – it was just the scale and size of it, that was the issue.”

The 48-year-old Waterbeach resident said she “would be keeping her eyes on it”.

The plans had been put forward by Herts County Council and care home firm Quantum Care.

Her joy was shared by county councillor Malcolm Cowan, Liberal Democrat, who said it was “a massive rebuff for the county council and Quantum Care”.

He said: ‘To have had their plan turned down on no less than five grounds shows how ill-considered it was and a massive arrogance to think there was no need to consult or compromise.

“This must raise issues about Quantum Care’s management, and I will be asking the county council what they intend to do to avoid any future repetition.”

The county council said it would be reviewing its options for the site, which is widely used by dog walkers.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The County Council is disappointed that Quantum Care’s planning application has been refused, the main issue being related to the design of the building.

“The options for future actions will be reviewed with Quantum in order to decide the most appropriate way forward to re-provide enhanced residential facilities in Welwyn Garden City for older people and for younger people with physical disability.”

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