Planning inspector gives Gosport homes green light

Portsmouth council agree to consult on Victoria Park revamp

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A CAMPAIGN against a proposed care home has been lost by residents.

The residents of Oval Gardens in Gosport thought they had won their two-year fight against a large care home for elderly people.

But a planning inspector reversed Gosport Borough Council’s decision to refuse the application and an application for landscaping was granted earlier this month.

As previously reported in The News, the residents had objected to an 18-bedroom care home due to its size and the extra traffic it could bring.

The council’s regulatory board unanimously agreed to turn it down in January 2011.

And revised plans for a 12-bedroom care home on the site were refused in March 2012.

The council wrote to the applicant, Chris Caswell, saying the size and setting of the care home would be ‘incongruous’ in the street and detrimental to the appearance of the area. It added increased activity and parking would also cause a problem.

But following the planning inspector’s visit in November last year, the home will now go ahead.

David Taylor, of Oval Gardens, spoke out against the plans in 2011. He said he is concerned the council’s decision was overturned.

Yesterday he said: ‘It’s rather disappointing, would be the moderate response.

‘We thought we had won the case twice over.

‘The first time it went to appeal the inspector agreed with us wholeheartedly that it was inappropriate.’

Mr Taylor added he has concerns the care home may not be successful and end up being used for other purposes.

But the planning inspector granted the appeal with the condition the building must be used as a care home.

It will now be built on the site of a five-bedroom bungalow at 91 Oval Gardens.

The application attracted 25 letters supporting it, while 59 objections were raised.

Mr Caswell said he is pleased he now has permission to build the home and work will start by early 2014.

He said: ‘I can understand people’s apprehension but at the end of the day we feel we’ll actually be giving a good service.

‘We’ve got to think toward looking after our elderly rather than hiding them away.

‘They’ve got to be in the community, it’s much better for that person.’

He added the home will look after people with dementia.