11:52AM, Thursday 01 August 2013
Controversial plans to convert Apple Hill care home into an community mental health hospital have been rejected by Royal Borough councillors.
The plans, to create an independent hospital for over-18s at the nursing home in Henley Road, Hurley, was rejected by a majority vote at a development control panel meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall last night.
The application also seeked to address a three-year breach in the home's planning consent, which has seen it house younger people with mental health needs despite only having permission to take in elderly residents as part of its specialism in dementia care.
After hearing appeals from both representatives of nearby residents and owners Henley Healthcare Ltd, councillors raised concerns about the proposed hospital's greenbelt location and the need for mental health facilities in comparison with the need for care homes for elderly people.
Cllr Philip Love (Con, Belmont) suggested that, under the Mental Health Act 1983, the plans would give more scope to keep the site secure following resident concerns about safety and anti-social behaviour, but councillors opted to support the officer's recommendation for refusal.
A timescale for Apple Hill to meet its planning consent must now be decided by the borough, subject to any appeal.
Other decisions made at last night's meeting include:
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