Permission to build a 70-bedroom care home on the site of a garden centre on Kettlebaston Way in Ipswich has been refused for a second time.

Councillors at a planning meeting yesterday, March 9, decided that the First Care Homes proposal was "not appropriate to the character of the area".

A spokesman from the council also noted that the scale of the development and lack of parking and appropriate public transport were factors in the decision.

This was the second application submitted to build a care home on this site, with the initial bid from First Care Homes turned down because it was felt the height of the building was too tall.

Nearly 50 public objections were made to the revised proposal ahead of the meeting, with concerns raised about increased traffic congestion, a loss of privacy and light and the potential strain on health and GP services in the area.

Some objectors mentioned their upset about what it would mean for Victoria Nurseries, which currently operates on the site and serves the local community.

The garden centre operates with temporary planning permission, subject to a condition to "cease on or before December 31, 2022".

Only one authority was shown to have outright objected in the report presented to the planning committee.

Ipswich Conservation and Design Panel stated the revised design was "still unacceptable due to concerns regarding the proposed scale of the building and the inadequate provision of car parking amenity space".

But planning officers preparing the report ahead of the meeting said: "The proposal is acceptable in terms of housing supply, site allocation and in terms of the principles of development as a care home.

"Furthermore the proposal represents a high standard of design and layout, would be sustainable, would protect and provide a high standard of amenity for existing and proposed residents, would be acceptable in terms of highway impact and parking provision, would be appropriate with regard to wider infrastructure provision, ecology, tree impact and flood risk, including surface water drainage."

It is not yet known if First Care Homes plans to appeal the decision.