Expansion of Bedford nursing home likely to be rejected

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Plans to expand a care home in Bedford are expected to be rejected by council bosses next week.

Owners of The Willows nursing home in Shakespeare Road have applied to expand its capacity from 32 to 44 beds in £6million development.

A decision will be made by Bedford Council’s planning committee on Monday evening (September 25).

Daya Thayan, chief executive of Kingsley Healthcare, said: “We have served the community well in Bedford for 10 years but we now need your support in making it clear to councillors why this scheme is so important.

“The Willows is a popular home that offers great care to our residents but the present building is limited in space.

“We want to offer people in the town the finest facilities possible and this scheme will take our capacity from 32 to 44 beds, all in en suite rooms.”

The development would involve the demolition of a property behind The Willows, in Clapham Road, to make way for a new purpose-built nursing home with 36 en suite rooms.

Residents from The Willows would then be moved into the new accommodation to allow a complete redevelopment of the existing site, providing a further eight bedrooms and extensive new living space.

The company claim to have been “working tirelessly” with council planning staff on the proposals and there had been no technical objections to the scheme.

Chief investment officer Muj Malik said: “We have been working closely with the council for over a year to meet their concerns over possible impact on the conservation area.

“After presenting three schemes we were delighted when planning officers indicated they would support our current plans. It therefore came as a surprise when they changed their minds at the 11th hour against the advice of their colleagues in social services.”

A spokesman for Bedford Borough Council said: “A planning application has been received by Kingsley Healthcare for works at Willows Care Home, Shakespeare Road.

“Planning officers have recommended it for refusal but the decision will be taken by councillors at planning committee Monday, September 23.”