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Former police station in Nottinghamshire to be demolished for new care home

Hucknall’s derelict former police station will be knocked down and the site turned a care home after the plans  were approved by council officials.

Developer Preferred Homes Limited (PHL) submitted the plans to Ashfield District Council in November 2021.

The company had planned to transform the disused Watnall Road site into a 73-bed ‘extra care’ home.

Now, Ashfield District Council’s planning department has approved the plans during a delegated decision – meaning a public meeting was not needed to pass them.

The site will now be knocked down to build a three and four-storey building, including 67 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments.

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Planning papers reveal each apartment will be self-contained and include a combined kitchen, living and dining room, one or two bedrooms, and a bathroom.

The ground floor of the building will also include a lounge and dining space, a kitchen, a bistro and other communal spaces for residents.

The decision was delegated to the council planning department and was not taken by councillors on the authority’s planning applications committee.

It means the police station land will be given a new lease of life after being closed by Nottinghamshire Police in 2020.

The force relocated to the joint emergency services base off Annesley Road, off the A611.

Planning papers reveal PHL would operate the site as an affordable rental care facility for people aged 55 and above.

However, the council says it expects the average age of occupants to be “closer to 75”.

The organisation said the facility will be used to address an “undersupplied” care market whilst supporting people with independent care.

Rental fees will be agreed upon with councils and about 10 jobs are expected to be created, including nurses, cleaners and caterers.

In papers, the organisation said: “The critical need for more
affordable rented accommodation for the elderly is a clear social and planning priority.

“PHL’s extra care schemes are intended to meet local authority strategic housing requirements.

“Weekly affordable rents and eligible service charges will be underpinned by nomination agreements with local authorities.

“The proposal utilises a now redundant brownfield site, maximising the extent of development that can be accommodated on it.

“[It] represents a community facility with the potential to deliver
intergenerational care, for which there is a confirmed and demonstrable need.”

Care delivered through the scheme would include responding “quickly to residents” through 24-hour cover, PHL adds.

People living in the building would be “drawn from” the local area and would “likely already be registered to a local GP practice”, the organisation adds.

However, planning papers reveal eight letters of objection were lodged during an initial planning consultation.

These raised concerns over the size of the plans, overshadowing, increased traffic, noise and disturbance, as well as parking.

Others said there was no need for the plans due to “existing care homes in the locality”, while some believed the brownfield site should be used for other purposes.

But the council’s planning department opted to approve the scheme and said, overall, it was both “acceptable” and “sustainable”.

In a report, it said: “The scheme would deliver 73 high-quality, affordable units which will provide a level of extra care provision.

“It will regenerate a now-vacant site by providing a modern, high-quality extra care home and will bring considerable environmental benefits.”

The approval is subject to the applicant agreeing to provide significant financial contributions to mitigate the impact of its plans.

This includes £8,000 for bus stop improvements, £16,689.75 for healthcare improvements and £100,000 for public open space works.

Nine existing car parking spaces at the front of the site must also be made available to the public “at all times”.

On-site parking will also be provided for residents, visitors and staff and will be accessed from Belle Isle Road, documents add.

•  West Bridgford Police Station sale completed making way for retirement homes

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