Apple Hill community mental health hospital plans thrown out

Apple Hill community mental health hospital plans thrown out

James Preston

Apple Hill community mental health hospital plans thrown out

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:

  • Proposals to build seven houses following the demolition of commercial buildings and house in Warren Row Road, Warren Row, were deferred for two months.
  • Plans to build 16 houses at the site of Payton House in Gorse Road, Cookham Rise, were deferred to allow for further discussion with developers Shanly Homes.
  • An application for two, four-bed houses in land rear to 4, 5, and 6 Woodlands Park Road, Woodland Park, was approved.
  • A much-debated application to place from Cookham Parish Council to place a notice board on Cookham Moor split the room, with panel chairman Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) making the deciding vote to approve the plans.

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