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Council could approve Bobbing care home despite objections

By Ellis Stephenson

Proposals for a 74-room care home have been recommended for approval by Swale council's planning committee when it meets tonight.

The plans would result in the transformation of the site of the former NHS day care Southlands Assessment Centre in Rook Lane, Bobbing.

The development, which is next to Demelza Hospice Care for Children, would also have 50 parking spaces and landscaped grounds.

A computer-generated aerial view of how the care home off Rook Lane, Bobbing, could look
A computer-generated aerial view of how the care home off Rook Lane, Bobbing, could look

The committee will consider the application after a decision was postponed on July 19, while more evidence was gathered about the impact on roads and air quality.

Eight letters of objection were received when the plans were first submitted, raising concerns including fears about light pollution, the size and scale of buildings being excessive, traffic and how it would look.

Bobbing Parish Council also objected.

After the plans were amended, a further seven letters of objection were handed in.

The applicant, Graham Land and Development, owned by Ernie and Karen Graham, was also asked to improve the quality of the design and to consider the effect the building would have on the surrounding area.

In a report to councillors, head of planning James Freeman recommended permission be granted.

Ernie Graham of Graham Land and Development
Ernie Graham of Graham Land and Development

But it is reliant on the applicant paying £36,000 in Section 106 contributions for health services provided by Swale Clinical Commissioning Group.

Justifying the recommendation, Mr Freeman said: “Whilst the site falls outside of any defined settlement, there is an identified need for such accommodation, the development would partially be on previously developed land, the site is in a reasonably accessible location and the countryside/landscape impacts would not be significantly adverse.”

Swale council’s environmental protection team leader had no objections, based on air quality, because it was believed fewer journeys would be made, compared to the old use of the site.

There were also no concerns over the impact of noise.

Kent County Council’s highways officers said it would be unlikely to generate more vehicle movements than when it was a hospital.

“Therefore, it would be difficult to sustain the view that the proposal would result in a decrease in highway safety,” it said in a statement.

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