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Care home and police station conversion planning applications get thumbs down from Stansted Parish Council



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Two controversial planning applications in Stansted – to build a care home and to convert the former police station into flats – have been unanimously opposed by the parish council.

Meeting for the first time since March via Zoom video conferencing, a meeting of the full council was tasked with considering the two schemes.

Hamberley Properties is seeking to redevelop the Almont House site in High Lane to provide a 75-bed care home. It submitted an amended application to show upgrades to the site entrance, boundary planting, car parking and site infrastructure.

The former police station in Hargrave Close is the subject of a revised planning application for eight flats (36658782)
The former police station in Hargrave Close is the subject of a revised planning application for eight flats (36658782)

Several villagers joined the meeting to voice concerns of over-development and to question the need for a fourth home in Stansted. They implored members to act on their behalf.

Cllr Alan Dean, who represents Stansted North on Uttlesford District Council, said he had requested the scheme be 'called in' to UDC's planning committee because it was so “controversial”.

His UDC Stansted North colleague and fellow Liberal Democrat Cllr Geoffrey Sell raised concerns about the added pressure it would bring on the village's GP practice.

"I'm concerned about the impact of yet another care home on the surgery's resources," he said. "Also, there are now 800 vacancies across Essex in care homes, which may be temporary, but I'm concerned at the scale of this development in a residential area and I think that as a parish we should be taking a firmer view."

Cllr Fran Richards believed the development was "no longer relevant". She said: "We have a great need for services for our younger residents now."

Resident Jeannette Gale said the proposed building would "bear down on her property" while Ally Wallberg, of nearby Meadowcroft, believed the scheme was out of keeping with the area. "There's also insufficient parking which would exacerbate existing parking problems in Meadowcroft and increase traffic," she said. "As a mother of two small children, I wonder how long it will be before there's an accident on this road."

Members unanimously agreed to recommend that UDC refuse the scheme on the grounds of its impact on infrastructure, particularly the GP surgery, and on surrounding residential areas, parking capacity at the site and the scale of the development being out of keeping with the area.

A revised application to convert the former police station in Hargrave Close into eight self-contained flats – the previous scheme for nine was refused – also met with unanimous opposition, despite the fact that residents previously opposed had not yet commented on this latest scheme.

Cllr Jo Kavanagh said that her main concern was for No 5 Croasdaile Road, which would be overlooked, with parking and recycling bins right next to the property. "I still have a problem with this. It's still over-development and there's very little amenity space – it's the same issues as before."

Cllr Sell added: "We should continue to oppose this proposal. I am very concerned about the impact on parking in this very narrow cul de sac."



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