Community leaders raise concerns over impact of new care village

An artists' impression of the proposed new care village in Halesworth

An artists' impression of the proposed new care village in Halesworth - Credit: Brown & Co

The developer behind a proposed new 'care village' in Halesworth has insisted "there is a need" for assisted living units after community leaders objected to the scheme.

Cardinal Healthcare Properties has submitted a planning application for the development, which would consist of 80 homes, to East Suffolk Council.

Included in the scheme are plans to create a multi-purpose hall, activity area, café, physiotherapy unit and hair salon, while residents living on-site would receive professional care on a 24-hour basis.

The application was submitted several months after proposals for a care home for up to 54 people, developed by Castlemeadow Care, in Halesworth were lodged with East Suffolk.

Cardinal Healthcare Properties' proposals were discussed by councillors in an extraordinary Halesworth Town Council meeting on Thursday evening.

Adrian Fairburn, of Cardinal Healthcare Properties, attended the meeting in-person and took questions from members of the community and councillors.

Some neighbours raised concerns over the access to the village, which is set to be built on land off Old Station Road, while others questioned whether the 80 units would likely be occupied.

At the end of the meeting, town councillors unanimously agreed to recommend East Suffolk refuses the application.

Community leaders argued the development falls outside the settlement boundary for Halesworth, despite the developer's prior discussions with East Suffolk over this matter.

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But they said the construction of the village and other developments would have an "adverse effect" on the town and raised concerns about the pressures it would put on infrastructure.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Fairburn defended the scheme and highlighted an independent report which found there was a shortfall of assisted living units in east Suffolk.

He said: "I do believe that it's right for the town. I tried my best in the meeting to put forward our point of view.

"We think we have put forward a comprehensive solution that is now being considered by the council.

"Our commissioned report says there is a need for over 300 units for assisted living in a 10-mile catchment area. If the outcome of the report had come out differently, we wouldn't have put forward these proposals.

"We are trying to be open and transparent about what we are trying to do."