Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider an application for the alteration and adaptation of existing nursing home to include extension of two additional bedrooms on the first floor, two fire escape stair enclosures and entrance canopy (copy attached).


An application was submitted for alteration and adaptation of existing Nursing

Home to include extension of two additional bedrooms on the first floor, two fire escape stair enclosures and entrance canopy at Sandy Lodge, 83 Dyserth Road, Rhyl.


Councillor Brian Jones proposed the application be deferred until a site visit took place at a local resident’s property. Councillor Jones requested a site visit to the resident’s property and neighbouring properties to ascertain the impact of the adaptation works at Sandy Lodge.

Councillor Ann Davies seconded the deferral on the basis of a site visit had been requested.


Vote -

For deferment – 8

Abstain – 1

Against – 9


RESOLVED that the request for deferral was NOT granted and the application for the alteration and adaptation of existing Nursing Home at Sandy Lodge, Rhyl be heard by the Committee.


The Chair informed members that the Public Speakers for this agenda item had been unable to attend but had provided a statement which the Development Control Manager would dictate to members. 


Written statement provided by Tim Carty (Against) – The detailed application referenced the proposed use of the facility as a private psychiatric hospital, the Medirose website spoke of accepting referrals from those detained under the mental health act and those subject to hospitalisation orders. Those appose to the application had been accused of having an issue with mental health provision, it was because we care about the appropriate provision for individuals with mental health issues that we oppose this location. The applicant was unable to specify that the unit would be classified as secure as that would suggest a change of use application so there is no guarantee the facility would be secure.

Over development – The site has been developed twice previously, expanding the building footprint and reducing the open spaces on the site, most of which will now be parking spaces. The building failed as a care home due to its unsuitability. Would you choose to send a loved one there? If not, why is it appropriate for individuals with mental health challenges. Do they not deserve better? The building is old, gloomy and unsuitable as a place for rest bite and rehabilitation. The location is in the middle of a residential area with no green space to aid recuperation. Let’s use the example of prisons, old buildings are not now deemed appropriate and modern facilities are the way forward. Why should we accept less for those with mental health issues? 

Traffic – The traffic survey relates to the previous use when the building was operating as a care home 4 years ago prior to the development which had increased traffic flow. This put pressure on the junctions meeting Dyserth road at Pen Y Maes Avenue, Park View Estate, Lon Ystrad and Heol Y Llys. Speed of the traffic had increased on that road with the traffic flow. The planning application had dedicated car parking spaces, but if that should not be enough the temptation would be to park on the main road. As witnessed at the site visit.

Need – Work is beginning shortly on a 66 bed facility less than a mile away. The Medirose website stated it is intended to provide specialist mental health services to enable local people to access high quality care as close to their family and social networks as possible. Should there not be a need for local referrals are we expecting Rhyl to become a dumping ground for patients outside the region. A freedom of information request reveals in the period 2018-2021 the local NHS trust referred 90 patients in total to facilities outside of the area due to a lack of capacity with the average stay of less than six months. It points to over provision once the larger building on Brighton Road is completed.

Nuisance – The proposed development at Sandy Lodge would negatively impact the residents at the rear of the property plus provide viewing into the rear of the day nursery alongside. Previous additions to the building had ensured that any further development will encroach on the light and open aspect particularly to those residents of Cae Gruffydd. Can I urge the committee to reflect on the issues notes along with the 600 Facebook group in opposition to the planned development and a 300 signature petition lodged at and vote to refuse the application.                  


The Development Control Manager confirmed he would now dictate the public speaker in favours written speech.


Written statement provided by John Horden (agent) (For) – I am John Horden from J P H Architects, and I am the project architect for the application. As you will see from the case officers report the application is for simple alterations and adaptations, and a two-bedroom extension to the existing main nursing home building. I believe the proposals do not have any objections or planning concerns in terms of density, scale or form, and that the proposals are in keeping with the ethos of the building and its function. Please also note that the case officer is moving for approval of the application. We are mindful that there have been some public concerns regarding the application on the grounds of function and use of the building. Currently the building is an existing nursing home and is classified as C2 purpose group. There is no intention of operating outside of this use. I want to reiterate that the purpose group of the nursing home future use is C2, and as an independent hospital it will fall absolutely within C2 use. Use C2a is for a secure unit which this building is categorically is not. Furthermore, the use and purpose group of this facility is not a material planning consideration for this application. You are simply determining an application for a 2-bedroom extension, enclosures for two fire escapes staircases and porch to the principal entrance to the home. I therefore urge you to approve this application presented before you. If the application does not receive full planning approval at this meeting the client will be making an appeal and will be applying for costs. Many thanks.


The Chair thanked the Development Control Manager for narrating the received public speaker statements. It was confirmed that a site visit had occurred in July. Councillor Ellie Chard had been in attendance for the site visit and informed members she was pleased to visit the site and felt the alterations would have a positive impact on the site. Councillor Paul Penlington agreed with Councillor Chard. Members were invited to walk around the whole site and were informed what was proposed for the alterations to the building. In his opinion the alterations proposed to a building of this size were minor alterations. The two existing fire escapes proposed to be boxed off would be of benefit to local people. The two extra bedrooms are in middle of the building so would not make any difference to the aspect of the building. It was the view of Councillor Penlington that there was no reason on planning grounds to refuse the application.

Councillor Ann Davies stated at the site visit she had observed the close proximity of the neighbouring buildings. It was her opinion that the development would be over intensification of the area. The gardens would not provide the recreational space for the individual’s needs.

The Vice Chair Councillor Christine Marston had also been in attendance at the site visit. She made particular reference to the close proximity of a day nursery.


General debate – Ward Member Councillor Brian Jones proposed the application be refused as the existing building had been over developed. Too much development had already occurred at the site prior to this application. The Traffic implications also add to the reason for refusal the last surveys had been completed some time ago and would not have taken into account the development of the site. It was Councillor’s Jones view that there was no requirement for the development, with other facilities less than a mile away.

Councillor Peter Scott seconded the notion to refuse the application. 


The Development Control Manager advised members that material planning considerations such as over development of the site and over intensification and impact of neighbouring properties could be considered as relevant reasons for refusal. It was stressed the use of the building was not proposed to be changed as part of this application and could not be considered. Officers had considered the applications in line with planning guidance. Officers opinion was that the applications was acceptable in planning terms.      


The Chair confirmed with Councillor Brian Jones that the reasons for refusal were over development of the site and an impact on the neighbours, especially at the rear of the property. 


Local Member Councillor Brian Blakely informed members he had been at the site visit and had spoken to local residents. In his opinion there was no reason to refuse the application. He noted the concerns of the local residents for the use of the site if planning was approved. Councillor Cheryl Williams was in agreement with Councillor Blakely.


Councillor Mark Young asked for some clarification on the development at the site and if in % terms it was over developed. He also asked for clarity as to the distance the new proposed extension would be from the neighbouring properties. Members noted a reference to a local child nursey had been made, and asked had the Council received any objection from the nursery?


Proposal - Councillor Ellie Chard proposed to grant the application in accordance with officer recommendations, seconded by Councillor Bob Murray.     


In response to Councillor Mark Young, the Development Control Manager explained the term over development of a site often referred to residential extensions. With reference to this site, officers agreed the original building had been subjected to a number of extensions of the building. Officers were in agreement that the proposed extensions were acceptable given the size of the site and the space around the building. The main potential impact to neighbouring properties would be at the rear of the property with the first floor extension to create two-bedrooms. The extension was not projecting further towards to the properties than the current existing building. Officers were accepting that there was a reasonable distance of over 21 meters, in terms of the proposed rear extension.


It was highlighted as the application was for extensions to the building and not for a change of use, comments from adult services colleagues within the council had not been received. Members had highlighted the general management, registration and arrangements for the use of building was with Care Standards Inspectorate.


Members asked for clarification on the difference between over intensification of the use of a site and over development. The Development Control Manager stated that an over intensification normally relates to a use of a site or building in terms of impacts. Over development relates more to the construction of buildings within a site and their impacts.


The Development Control Manager confirmed, no objections in relation to the extension proposal had been received from the nearby nursery.


Vote –

For – 11

Abstain – 0

Against – 7


RESOLVED that permission be GRANTED in accordance with officer

recommendations as detailed within the report and supplementary papers.  


Supporting documents: