PLANS to demolish a former care home building and replace it with a four-storey block of flats have been rejected.

HB Properties & Letting Ltd sought permission to carry out the redevelopment scheme at Merstone Hall Care Home in Boscombe.

The Florence Road care home closed in 2018 three weeks after it was placed into special measures by Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The applicant already obtained planning permission to convert the existing building to create 28 apartments but this approval has now lapsed.

HB Properties & Letting Ltd’s latest demolition and replacement building proposal was deemed “unacceptable” in terms of design, massing and scale by BCP Council planners, while the homes would fail to provide an acceptable standard of amenity for some of the residents.

An officer’s report said the principle of the loss of the care home had been established by granting the previous application.

A site visit before determining the scheme found the building was boarded up and temporary fencing had been erected.

The premises had been subject to anti-social behaviour and was in a poor condition, the officer said.

The officer concluded the proposal did not meet the objectives of sustainable development.

Bournemouth Echo:

“The design of the proposal is unacceptable; it would fail to preserve or enhance the setting of adjacent designated heritage assets and it would have an adverse impact on residential amenity,” the officer’s report said.

“There are further objections pertaining to sustainability, cycle parking and refuse.”

The scheme would have provided nine one-bed, 15 two-bed and four three-bed flats across four floors.

After the plans were amended by the applicant, no on-site car parking spaces would have been provided.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of HB Properties & Letting Ltd said the complete redevelopment scheme had been pursued as it would provide “better accommodation”.

“The existing building is not of any particular architectural merit, consequently there is an opportunity to replace the building with a structure and design that will enhance the character of the area and preserve the setting of the nearby heritage asset,” the statement added.

BCP Council planners rejected the scheme under delegated powers.

Merstone Hall Care Home was rated inadequate by the CQC and closed in March 2018.

The CQC had previously met with the home provider and registered manager to express “serious concerns” and warn what enforcement action could be considered.

The care home regulator found 12 breaches of regulations following an unannounced three-day inspection.

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