Kingston Council’s latest Development Control Committee meeting saw the approval of a planning application to demolish two houses at 17-19 Coombe Lane West, to be replaced with a three storey 67-bed care home.
Local residents were very concerned about the proposal, which will see two large family homes being demolished and replaced with a three-storey building containing 67 bedrooms and all the associated rooms, facilities and car parking for 14 vehicles. The building will be built all along the frontage of Coombe Lane West and along one of the rear gardens.
There is general support for building more housing for the elderly, especially those who require help with their health. However, most local residents and the Conservative ward councillors don’t believe that such a large operation should be shoehorned into a space where two family homes sit along a suburban residential road. The site is located in the Kingston Hill/Coombe Hill Strategic Area of Special Character.
These plans have been on the cards for a long time, and (prior to the lockdown) all three of the Coombe Hill Conservative councillors (Rowena, Ed and Ian) have delivered leaflets and knocked on local doors to get the view of local residents.
During the meeting one local resident spoke well on behalf his neighbours, highlighting why the application was inappropriate. Cllr Ian George spoke on behalf of the three Conservative ward councillors, in support of the local residents.
Cllr George said: “The proposed building and business will introduce an intensive use to the site, which will have a detrimental effect on neighbouring residents. The completed nursing home will generate many vehicle movements from those who live on the site, visitors, employees and those who service the properties and residents. Unlike a normal residential building, it can be expected that the site would generate lots of noise and movements throughout the whole day and night.
“Although large houses are often used for nursing homes, they should have plenty of space around them so as not to cause a disturbance to neighbours, and should ideally be situated on a corner of a street or set slightly away from rows of standard family-type houses. Although the proposed nursing home will be a residential building, it will in effect have all the characteristics (traffic/noise/light/servicing) of being a busy 24-hour business in amongst a row of houses. Traffic generation, parking problems are a particular problem in this area close to the busy junction of Coombe Lane West/ Coombe Road and Galsworthy Road/Gloucester Road, especially with the Hospital nearby.”
As Conservative ward councillors we are supportive of new care homes, but they need to be in the right place. We are becoming more and more worried that Kingston Council is giving the green light for so many family houses to be demolished in order to build overly dense flats, businesses and care homes.
Full details of the approved planning application search ref: 19/03167/FUL on the Kingston Council website here.