Town council slams ‘poor quality’ Thornbury care home plans

A PLANNED new care home for Thornbury has been criticised for being “institutional” in design and failing to take into account the natural environment.

The 66-bed home has been proposed for land at Morton Way, as part of a wider development of up to 350 homes which was granted outline permission after an appeal in 2018, some of which has already been built. 

Current plans for the two-storey building submitted to South Gloucestershire Council are described by LNT Care Developments as comprising a red brick building with dark grey/black weatherboard cladding and a smooth anthracite roof.

LNT, from Leeds, says it will offer 40-50 full time equivalent jobs for care workers, catering staff and care assistants.

But some local people have lodged objections on the council’s planning portal, saying it will create “unacceptable” noise and pollution levels for neighbours, and Thornbury Town council has opposed the plan.

The town council’s submission says the design should be adapted to reflect the look of nearby homes.

Councillors said: “The design is of poor quality, is institutional in style and does not relate well to the new or more established residential housing in the immediate vicinity. 

“The landscaping plan does not comply with guidelines on biodiversity and it appears no effort has been made to do so. 

“The ornamental trees and shrubs described are not suitable. These should be replaced with carefully selected native species that add to the natural environment and biodiversity.”

Resident Karen Carr said she was concerned the building work would mean more noise nuisance, from delivery vehicles.

Lesley Sackett said ongoing noise levels from traffic, as well as the home’s laundry, kitchen and solar panel battery store would be “unacceptable in the vicinity of the existing properties on Morton Way”.

LNT Care Developments says in its application that the building will provide 66 single-rooms with en-suite, mostly expected to be occupied by local people.

It says the building “would provide an attractive and appropriate community building on this site”.

The company says it has built a series of care homes specifically for the care of older people in locations including Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South of England, adding: “LNT Construction has considerable experience in the development of care homes, having constructed numerous care homes for their sister company Ideal Care Homes and other operators across the UK.”

After the town council’s criticism and a meeting of a ‘design review panel’ the developer has amended the plans to move the building further east, away from neighbouring homes but closer to the road, and further south away from other neighbouring buildings.

The design has been changed to include canopies above doors “to reflect the neighbouring dwellings”, adding gable ends to the roof and “brick detailing”.

The car park has been reconfigured and extra landscaping included.

The plans can be viewed by searching for application reference P23/02022/F on the South Gloucestershire Council planning website.

Main picture: How developer LNT Construction says the care home will look.