08:12AM, Wednesday 24 July 2013
Controversial proposals to turn a care home in Hurley into a community mental health hospital will be considered by Royal Borough councillors on Wednesday.
Henley Healthcare Ltd want to turn Apple Hill, in Henley Road, into an independent hospital which would specialise in the treatment and rehabilitation of up to 40 people with mental illnesses.
The Royal Borough had threatened the home, which specialises in dementia care, with enforcement action for a long-standing breach of its planning consent which the plans, if approved, would seek to address.
The home only has permission to house elderly patients but has admitted a number of younger residents with mental health needs.
The operator announced its intention to submit the plans to concerned villagers at a Bisham Parish Council meeting in April, where planning consultant John O'Donovan apologised for the breach and said the company was 'hoping to put the matter right'.
But sceptical neighbours at the meeting said they lacked faith and raised concerns about safety, security and anti-social behaviour.
The plans will be discussed at a Maidenhead development control panel meeting, where officers have recommended the proposals for refusal.
The officer's report for the application states the 'proposed use would likely result in an increased level of activity, noise and other disturbance to the detriment of the character of the countryside and the amenities of neighbouring residential occupiers'.
It also described the plans as inappropriate development in the greenbelt.
The meeting will take place at 7pm at Maidenhead Town Hall in St Ives Road.
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