Additional and amended plans to convert care home

By by Jackie Turley jackie.turley@iomtoday.co.im Twitter: @iomJackie in Planning

Additional and amended plans have been submitted to planners for 34 studio apartments at the former Saddle Mews nursing home, in Douglas.

It follows concerns raised by neighbouring residents as well as feedback from a number of agencies, including the government’s Environment, Safety and Health directorate and the Highways division.

The application (16/00946/B) was originally submitted by Kirindolam 2 Ltd last year.

The bid attracted a large number of letters from Saddle Mews residents, who say they moved into the development to be part of a senior citizen village with residents having to be over 50 to live there.

Many of the letters state: ’The concern is that this development will eventually be sold as private small apartments and expect in this marketplace it will appeal to first time buyers and this is not complementary to the lifestyle we have bought into in Saddle Mews.’

In the latest documents agent Endless Design states: ’It is the owner’s intent to create high quality studio apartments for the professional market.

’We anticipate a typical occupier will be a professional on a short term contract, or a mid-term occupancy who has yet to find a new permanent residence, or somebody who visits the island on a weekly basis returning to the main residence at the weekend and wants a fixed base.’

The Environment, Safety and Health Directorate’s initial feedback was that they required the layout of the flats to combine a living room/kitchen with separate bedroom or a living room/bedroom with separate kitchen.

Additional drawings indicate ’bespoke room dividers’ separating the bedroom area.

Endless Design say that following a meeting it was their understanding the department would be willing to relax the rules.

The applicant has made a number of changes, including amending the parking bays, have been made following feedback from Highways.

The nursing home, run by Four Seasons Health Care, closed in 2010 as changes in regulations meant the business ’was no longer viable’.

The property was listed by Black Grace Cowley for four years before it was bought by the applicant. In that time ’no serious interest’ was shown in the site as a care home.

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