Anger grows at student housing plan at former Ipswich care home

The former Ormonde Nursing Home in Westerfield Road, Ipswich, which could be turned into student acc

The former Ormonde Nursing Home in Westerfield Road, Ipswich, which could be turned into student accommodation. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

Growing fears have been raised about turning a former Ipswich care home into a house of multiple occupancy for students.

Hearthstone Properties is looking to renovate the old Ormonde Nursing Home, near Christchurch Park, to provide accommodation for 16 students.

The company's directors, Joel and Asia Jordan, are working with the University of Suffolk on the changes, with academic registrar Fiona Fisk welcoming the plans "at a time when the university has aspirations to grow and additional student accommodation will be required".

But neighbours close to the Victorian building have warned it will be "hugely detrimental to the town" if approved by Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee tomorrow (Wednesday, June 26).

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As well as adding to the area's parking problems and concerns about the impact it would have on a Conservation Area, a report by planning officers ahead of the meeting said some had objected to "cooking smells from upper floor kitchens".

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Mr and Mrs Jordan say the home will be designated as a "quiet house", with rules including no smoking, no parties and a curfew between 11pm and 8am.

One opponent out of nearly 30 objections said: "Whilst the 'management plan' may state good intentions, it is not realistic to think that noise and anti-social behaviour will not occur.

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"It will be impossible to police an 11pm to 8am curfew, limitations on overnight visitors and rules on no alcohol, parties, noise, smoking or activities in the garden."

The critic said that would create "significant tensions", adding: "Three kitchens with 16 occupants cooking at different times will create noise and air pollution for local residents, music playing with windows open in warm weather and smoking and activities in the garden will all cause disturbance and loss of privacy to local residents."

The applicants argue noise disturbance would be "very unlikely", because the house is set back from the road.

They also say that students' tenancy agreements will prevent them from having cars.

Another opponent said: "I believe that the proposed HMO usage is inappropriate and will damage the Conservation Area."

The plans submitted would create 12 single bedrooms with bathrooms, four single bedrooms with toilets and two communal showers and toilets, along with two lounges and three kitchens.

Ormonde Nursing Home was closed last year after its trustees said the restrictions of the building was making it difficult to care for patients.

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