Homes and 70-bed Wickford care home planned

A retirement village with enough space for 106 people could be built on green belt land near Wickford.

An application to tear down existing commercial buildings in Cranfield Park Road, Wickford, for the scheme was validated by Basildon Borough Council on December 29.

If approved, the development will consist of six bungalows, 30 apartments and a 70-bed care home, as well as a tea room for residents, communal open space and other drainage and road infrastructure.

According to a design and access statement submitted alongside the proposals, the four other care homes in Wickford are currently full.

A section read: “The vacant site offers an ideal opportunity to provide a high-quality and bespoke scheme, fulfilling a significant local need.

“Principally, it will develop a site that although is green provides little ecological or local value and despite being within the green belt is inaccessible to the local community.”

Great Broomfields itself is a grade two listed building which could be impacted by development in Cranfield Park Road.

However, the statement says the scheme would be bespoke and the design would pay “great respect” to its neighbour.

Additionally, the site’s green belt location could be an obstacle in obtaining planning permission from the council.

According to the statement, the retirement village has been designed to mitigate its impact on the environment, by reducing overheating and flood risk, improving water efficiency and enhancing its green infrastructure.

It continues to say the site is has easy access to shops, medical services and leisure opportunities as well as Cranfield Park, which it describes as “a beautiful community amenity area” for the future residents.

The bid is a full application, meaning the council will only have to make one decision over the entire scheme, rather than voting separately on outline and detailed permissions.

The council’s planning committee will likely vote on whether to approve the application later this year.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter