New 93-bed care home will create 100 jobs

Building land at Merlin Way, Bishop Cuthberts, Hartlepool.
Building land at Merlin Way, Bishop Cuthberts, Hartlepool.
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Permission has been granted for a new 93-bed residential care home to be built in Hartlepool.

Approval was given for the new development which is due to be built on land at Merlin Way on the Bishop Cuthbert estate.

But there were objections from residents over the height of the home and concerns from councillors about the impact it will have on the amount of traffic on Merlin Way.

The applicant, Prestige Group, which runs a number of similar homes in the area, says the development will create at least 100 jobs.

Part of the home, which it is said will provide residential and nursing care, will be up to three storeys high.

Melanie Wenn, a married mum of two, of Silverbirch Road, whose home backs onto the land, said to the planning committee: “It is going to completely overlook our back gardens. We like to be outside, eat in the garden and sunbathe.

“I don’t think that’s going to be able to continue with a significant amount of windows overlooking my property.”

Mrs Wenn, who also spoke on behalf of two of her neighbours, added the proposed height would block their sunlight, and raised concerns about the growing number of vehicle accesses on a short stretch of Merlin Way.

She added: “We have no objection to the land being used for a nursing home but its size will affect my and my family’s life completely.”

Hart ward councillor Paul Beck said the home would create much-needed jobs and help address a shortage of care beds in Hartlepool but sympathised with the residents adding: “There is going to be a considerable increase in traffic.”

The council’s traffic and transport section advised the proposed access points were acceptable.

Coun Ray Martin-Wells said he felt “reluctantly compelled” to support the application and added he hoped the concerns were taken into account.

He said: “We need to treat our elderly and infirm with the respect they deserve and that’s good quality purpose-built accommodation,”

Coun George Springer voted against and saying there were several existing buildings that could have been used instead.

Coun Marjorie James said there was still a large number of questions.

A Prestige Group spokesman said: “We are of course pleased that approval has been granted and we believe once the development is completed, the high spec facilities that we provide will ensure there is plenty of demand for the service.

“We’re really excited by the location and all the signs suggest this will be another quality addition to the Prestige Care Group portfolio of care homes operated within the Tees Valley region.”