Decision due on new bid for care home on site of Ipswich garden centre

Victoria Nurseries in Ipswich

The care home would be built on the site of Victoria Nurseries - Credit: Google

The proposal to build a care home at the site of an Ipswich garden centre is set to be discussed at a council planning meeting next week, after nearly 50 objections from residents. 

First Care Homes wants to demolish Victoria Nurseries, in Kettlebaston Way, to develop the site into a 70-bedroom care home over three floors. 

The first bid for the site was opposed by the community and councillors, who felt the height of the building was too tall. 

A new application was submitted at the beginning of September 2021 with the care home altered to be a similar height to the surrounding homes. 

ADG Architects, the care home's agent, said the new plan results "in an improved scheme that will provide the client with a building that will meet their brief, operational requirements and comply to CQC legislation without exceeding the site constraints and local planning policies". 

With this development, First Care Homes aims to meet "future and current" demand for care facilities in the area. 

Victoria Nurseries currently operates on the site with temporary planning permission, which is subject to a condition to "cease on or before December 31, 2022".

Liberal Democrat councillor for St Margaret's and Westgate. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Cllr Inga Lockington, for St Margaret's and Westgate, has also submitted an objection to the plans - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A total of 48 representations - including from ward councillor Inga Lockington - objecting to the plans have been received by the planning department, with concerns raised about lack of parking provision, perceived loss of privacy and light, and the loss of a business that serves the local community.

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Although it had no objection to the proposed use for the site, when consulted Ipswich Conservation and Design Panel objected to the details of the plans. 

The panel's response noted that "the scheme, as revised, is still unacceptable due to concerns regarding the proposed scale of the building and the inadequate provision and of car parking amenity space". 

No objections were raised by any of the other authorities approached for consultation, but Suffolk Highways did recommend improved pedestrian and cycle accessibility. 

The planning and development committee are set to meet and decide whether to approve the application on Wednesday March 9.