Opposition to care home plans

A DAUGHTER spurred on by her mother's spiral into dementia is today determined to open a care home for the elderly despite opposition.

A DAUGHTER spurred on by her mother's spiral into dementia is today determined to open a care home for the elderly despite opposition.

Sue Bolton has been trying for two years to open the care home in Felixstowe and has now found what she feels is the ideal property to convert and extend.

But objectors have branded the plans for the detached house in Mill Lane as overdevelopment and say it will “stick out like a sore thumb”.

Mrs Bolton said her mum Joan Stephens, 88, who is currently a resident of Coniston care home, Orwell Road, has mixed dementia and other health problems.

She said: “It has been obvious, for a very long time, that she was a danger to herself and those around her but still she did not qualify for a social service place.

“After a fall and a near death experience we made the hard decision to sell her only asset, her flat in a warden controlled block, in order to pay for a place in a private care home.

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“Even this proved difficult because of her dementia. There is an incredible wait, even in the private sector for people with dementia.”

To try to help, Mrs Bolton and her partner decided to sell up and open a care home of their own - finding a detached house in Mill Lane, which they want to convert to a 15-room home by building on part of the third-of-an-acre garden.

Ipswich Hospital is supporting the project because it would provide extra care.

Mrs Bolton said: “The town centre is only a short walk away for those physically able. The seafront is also very near. It is in my opinion an ideal place for elderly people to spend some of their last days.”

But the plan has attracted more than 20 objections from residents worried at the impact on the neighbourhood and their homes, and now Suffolk Coastal District Council planners will make a site visit before making a decision.

Councillor Doreen Savage said the proposal was “quite horrendous”.

She said: “I think the impact on the neighbours will be so substantial it will make their quality of life quite untenable and the extensions will stick out like a sore thumb.”

Mayor Joan Sennington said it was “total overdevelopment” and feared it would generate traffic and on-street parking and road hazards near the busy Mill Lane-Garrison Lane junction.

Do you support the development? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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