Residents and staff at Whyke Lodge Care Home have claimed a ‘victory for common sense’ after an appeal was dismissed to to turn the home into housing.
The care home, which specialises in supporting residents with dementia, was the subject of a planning application for six homes last year.
Chichester District councillors unaminously refused the proposals in October but supporters have faced a tense wait to find out if the government Planning Inspectorate would uphold that decision.
Business manager Nadia Walsh said: “At Whyke Lodge we are delighted with this common sense decision.
“The staff, residents and relatives are relieved that the home is now safe.
“We would like to thank everyone who supported Whyke Lodge over the past year, including the local community, West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council.
“We now hope that the Chichester Local Plan will be revised and updated to protect the housing needs of the ageing population and care homes.”
The appeal report, published on Wednesday, noted that under the proposals, the care home of around sixty years would have been demolished and its 23 residents with ‘advanced’ forms of dementia would have had to move.
It added that in the absence of specific policies for specialist housing for older people or those with particular needs, the home could be considered a ‘community facility’ and the growing demand for dementia care was a significant ‘material consideration’.
It concluded: “The provision of six additional houses would be significantly outweighed by the loss of accommodation and care that is being provided to people who are particularly vulnerable and with restricted choices about where they can live.”
Reader Brian Hopkins wrote to the Observer calling the decision ‘a victory for common sense’.
Whyke Lodge had been consistently rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission.
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