Case Study: 141-bed care home, Test Valley Borough Council

Background

Our client sought planning permission to build two separate specialist care home facilities just outside Southampton: a nursing home with dementia care provision, and a specialist neurorehabilitation centre.

Challenges

  • The land was allocated in the Local Plan for a different use.
  • The proposals had been recommended for refusal by officers due to a number of factors, including objections to the proposed design and building height.
  • The site proposals were opposed by the local Parish Council and ward councillors – two of whom were also members of the Planning Committee.

Solution

  • SP Broadway contacted all key stakeholders, including the county councillor and the Member of Parliament.
  • Through our contact with the Cabinet Member for Planning we facilitated a meeting with planning officers and the project team to address the reasons the scheme had been initially recommended for refusal. These included the scheme’s design and the fact that the proposed site was allocated as employment land in the council’s Local Plan.
  • Following this meeting, the planning application was granted an extension of time to address some technical issues, which eventually resulted in the proposals receiving a recommendation to approve from planning officers. SP Broadway wrote a briefing letter to members of the Planning Committee to make sure they were aware of these technical challenges and to maintain the profile of the proposals.
  • Ahead of the Planning Committee, SP Broadway circulated a second briefing letter to all committee members, highlighting the many benefits it would bring to the borough.  On the eve of committee, we called members of the Planning Committee to ensure they had read the letter and to answer any last-minute questions.

Result

The proposals went before the Planning Committee and were unanimously consented by members, including the two local ward councillors.

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