NHS chiefs object to plans for new ‘care village’ for over 75s
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 June 2020
Health bosses have objected to proposals for a new “care village” near Woodbridge, saying doctors’ surgeries in the area would not be able to cope with the influx of elderly people.
Christchurch Land and Estates (Melton) Limited has submitted plans for 6.6-acres of pasture and a disused quarry in Yarmouth Road, Melton, to be developed with an 80-bedroom care home and 75 assisted care bungalows.
The company says the Woodbridge Care Village proposals will also deliver “significant economic and social benefits” to the area, creating a vibrant community as well as generating up to 180 full and part time jobs, and ease the pressure on local health services.
However, the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) disagrees and says the scheme is likely to have an impact on the NHS funding programme of primary healthcare provision in the area.
The location is covered by a group of local practices called a Primary Care Network.
The CCG said: “These practices do not have sufficient capacity for the additional growth resulting from this development and cumulative development growth in the area.
“Facilities of this nature do not just cater for the local population but will attract people of the elderly demographic to the area and increase the workload for the surgeries in the PCN which are already struggling to deal with overall demand.
“A development of this size should be located where the infrastructure is in place and not in an area in which a high concentration of care homes and accommodation for the elderly and infirm already exist.”
In documents submitted to East Suffolk Council, Christchurch said there were great benefits from allowing people to stay in their own bungalows in a care village environment. The site would also have 24-hour emergency care.
The project – which would also feature a bowling green, cafe and clubhouse – would be specialist accommodation for people over 75 with recreation facilities open to the whole community.
Tony Harris, managing director of Christchurch Land and Estates (Melton) , said: “Melton and the surrounding areas have a considerable shortage of suitable housing for elderly residents, who require specialist accommodation that is adapted to their needs.
“Our proposals respond directly to the shortfall in housing for older people, as confirmed by the Planning Inspector in his report on the new Local Plan. The proposals present a unique opportunity to meet the identified demand for this type of housing, whilst allowing residents to live with as much independence as possible.”