Plans for a 60-bed care home off the A27 between the Offington and Grove lodge roundabouts in Worthing have been rejected by councillors.
The site, on the northern side of Warren Road, is currently occupied by a vacant three-storey detached Georgian style house and two-storey converted coach house.
Developers wanted permission to demolish the buildings and replace them with a 60-bed care home in a single three-and-a-half storey block.
However members of Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee felt the development was too large for the site and refused permission last night (Wednesday October 17).
The agent for the scheme, promoted by Redland Care, argued that the area had a shortfall of beds and the benefits of the scheme outweighed officers’ concerns.
Although the proposed building was larger than existing structures on site it was felt the site could reasonably accommodate the facility.
However the majority of councillors disagreed.
Dan Humphreys (Con, Offington), leader of the council, said: “I think this is, compared to what is on the site already and for a site of this size, an awfully big building to be putting on there.”
He acknowledged the need for care home places and a shortage of available development sites in the borough, but also raised concerns about access from such a busy road.
He added: “I do not think this is the right development for this site.”
Alex Harman (Con, Selden), vice-chair of the committee, praised the design of the proposed building, but said: “The real sticking point is the sheer scale of the development. It seems like such a large increase on the site.”
However several councillors on balance felt the application should be approved.
Steve Wills (Con, Castle) described how the site was well screened by trees and felt the care home would go some way towards meeting a shortfall of beds.
Meanwhile Paul Yallop (Con, Marine), chair of the committee, suggested the development would free up properties across Worthing when elderly residents moved into the care home.
He explained: “It’s finely balanced, but as the speaker says it’s a big site and there are not too many big sites in Worthing for something like this to go on.”
After the debate the application was refused by five votes to two.