New Hucknall facility for people with brain injuries finally gets approval after planning concerns resolved

A former Hucknall care home will be turned into facilities for people with brain injuries after the plans were approved by councillors at the third time of asking.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 5:11 pm

Crossover Consulting and PM Limited had initially submitted proposals to turn the former 16-bed Elm Tree House on Ogle Street into a 20-bed house in multiple occupancy (HMO).

However, councillors on Ashfield District Council’s planning committee deferred the plans at both its March and April meetings over concerns about how the site would be managed and the amount of space available to its residents.

Objections were raised over the number of proposed bedrooms and the amount of relaxation space for residents.

Plans have been approved for the former Elm Tree House care home to become a facility for people with brain injuries

The applicant was also criticised for not providing a suitable management plan.

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But the developer has now come back to the authority with a full management plan and has also taken members of the committee on a site visit to explain the long-term plan for the home.

Under amended plans, the number of bedrooms has been reduced from 20 to 18, while quiet relaxation and consultation rooms have been added to support residents while recovering from their injuries.

The latest planning committee meeting, on July 20, also heard the building has recently become the target of anti-social behaviour and drug use, with the applicant urging the council to approve the plans and put this to an end.

James Cross, the applicant, spoke during the meeting about how the site will be managed and addressed how the building will be looked after while remaining in its current condition.

He said there will be contact details displayed for the future operator in case of an emergency, while there are plans to set up a community liaison group with neighbouring homes that have raised concerns about the HMO plan.

“The management plan will be linked to the site’s operator and, should the operator change, this will need to be updated to reflect it.

“It will also still be subject to housing and licensing regimes and Ashfield District Council will be the licensing authority in this – giving another mechanism for the council to check the acceptability of the property.”

The full management plan will need to be submitted and approved now members of the committee have given the application planning permission.

Mr Cross added: “We’ve had some break-ins and drug use and that has further increased out of the back, adding to the current anti-social behaviour.

“In my opinion, the sooner this can be brought back to residential use and managed properly, the better for all residents involved.”

The plans were given approval by eight votes to one.

Coun Lauren Mitchell (Lab), who represents Hucknall South, said: “The applicant has complied with us on every concern we’ve had and that doesn’t make me concerned for the future.

“I did have concerns in the original application but, again, they have addressed these concerns and I think this can only help people.”

A previous meeting heard staff would visit the site throughout the day to help and provide in-house care for some of the residents, but would not be on-site 24 hours a day.

Staff would have access to a limited amount of on-site parking, while people visiting their relatives at the home would be expected to use nearby car parks in the town centre.