Plans by Sergison Bates for an 88-home care home on a green belt site in Windlesham, Surrey, have been turned down on the grounds of overdevelopment
Surrey Heath Borough Council rejected the proposals for a 2.2ha site, for which permission had already been granted for a smaller care home and doctor’s surgery.
Councillors agreed with an officer report that said the applicant, PegasusLife subsidiary All of Us, had not justified an increase in the scale of development.
The report said: ‘While there would be some benefits from the proposal, it is not considered that the factors put forward by the applicant amount to very special circumstances to outweigh the harm, even taking into account the extant permission.
‘Moreover, the quantum of development permitted by that scheme should not be used to now justify a further significant incremental uplift in built form, as proposed by this submission, so resulting in even greater harm.’
The revised planning application included an increase in the number of rooms from 65 to 88, and removed the approved doctor’s surgery.
It also increased the proposed floorspace by 82 per cent over the existing permission – from 4,185m² to 7,597m².
The officer report said: ‘As such the layout and spread of development would be significantly greater than the extant permission, causing additional harm to the openness of the green belt.’
It rejected the claims of that benefits from the scheme, including job creation and design, should have overridden any harm to the setting.
The design of the new buildings, the report also said, ‘is not considered to be exceptional’.
‘The fact that a proposal may improve the visual amenities of the area does not outweigh the harm to openness as all proposals should improve the character of the area, in line with the National Planning Policy Framework and adopted policy.
‘Similarly, high-quality architectural design ought to be a prerequisite with any proposal.’
A spokesperson for All of Us said: ‘We are disappointed with the outcome at Windlesham. It is too early at this stage to confirm our next steps.’
Sergison Bates has been contacted for comment.