Decision On Care Home Under Fire

A district councillor has criticised planning colleagues for approving an extension of a Donington care home when they did not have the full case history. Coun Fred Fretwell said that South Holland District Council’s planners had “lost” a file relating to Matthew Flinders Residential Home but went on to give the plans the go-ahead. At a recent meeting of Donington Parish Council he claimed that the action was one of “bad practice” and said he would pursue it.

Genesis Residential Care applied to add a single-storey extension to the home in Station Road earlier this year and officers approved it under delegated powers on August 25.

Parish councillors heard that the extension would be built on parking spaces, which were a condition of the home’s original approval in 1983 and those relating to neighbouring Dial Hall.

Coun Fretwell said that officers should have contacted him or the parish council about the plans instead of ignoring the issues. He said: “I am concerned that the approval has been given. There is little we can do about that. I intend to take this to them as an example of bad practice. I really ought to take it further than that. In my opinion they swept everything under the carpet and tried to hide the facts. I do not know why they think we are going to shut up and go away. I’m not prepared to and neither is the parish council.”

Parish councillors heard that more plans are being decided by officers with delegated powers.

Some members of the public have expressed concerns that some of the decisions should go before the development control committee, which is why a task group has been set up to look into the issue.

Coun Fretwell hopes that the matter can be pursued but not until he has given his evidence to the group at the end of the month.

District council head of planning and development Steve Williams said: “This application provided details about car parking provision and this was considered by the chairman’s panel on August 25 together with the rest of the application. There were no objections from the highways authority, which has responsibility for ensuring there is adequate parking.”