Dementia care home to housing plan due up for decision

DM17840386.jpg Community unites to save Whyke Lodge care home, Chichester, from becoming housing. Staff, residents and relatives outside the home. Photo by Derek Martin; SUS-170815-200239008
DM17840386.jpg Community unites to save Whyke Lodge care home, Chichester, from becoming housing. Staff, residents and relatives outside the home. Photo by Derek Martin; SUS-170815-200239008

A controversial plan to turn a Chichester care home for people with dementia into flats has been recommended for approval on Wednesday.

Whyke Lodge care home in Whyke Road is rated ‘good’ by the care quality commission but planning officers have reported there is no policy to protect care homes from development.

Objecting to the application, Chichester Quakers have said it would place ‘an intolerable burden of confusion on the residents by forcing them to move elsewhere’.

West Sussex County Council’s contract department has also written to urge a refusal in light of growing demand for dementia support services.

Janice Moore, whose mother has lived at Whyke Lodge for five years, wrote: “It will be a disaster for the Chichester community and the abandonment of the elderly and infirm.

“With the increase in demand in dementia care needed it seems ridiculous that Chichester District Council are throwing Whyke Lodge on the tip.”

Documents published ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of Chichester District Council planning committee noted a district strategy to be ‘dementia friendly’ and third party comments.

The recommendation continued: “There is however, no planning policy within the adopted CLP which seeks to retain existing care homes and/or prevent their change of use or redevelopment as a matter of principle.”

The planning committee meeting will start at 9.30am at East Pallant House. Members of the public may attend but representations have to be organised beforehand with the council.

See application 17/01712/FUL at https://publicaccess.chichester.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=ORACGFERH4F00