Abberton: Inspector rules in favour of nursing home

A nursing home has won a planning appeal against Colchester Council. Inspector Christopher Anstey ruled in favour of Abberton Manor after hearing both sides of the debate in March.

The dispute arose after planning permission was granted for a new building to join the existing property on the Layer Road site.

Officers agreed that the new development’s 32 units could be built as “close care” facilities, where over-55s live independently but are looked after in their own homes.

An additional condition imposed by the council stated that the new building had to be operated solely in conjunction with the existing nursing home, with staff providing residential care at both centres.

This was to ensure that the property could not later be used by independent people, as the site lies within a rural location where new homes would not normally be given permission.

But Mr Anstey agreed with the nursing home that this proviso was “unreasonable”.

He said: “Only the nursing home at Abberton Manor is, and can be, registered under the Commission for Social Care Inspection registration scheme for nursing homes.

“This registration does not allow the staff to operate beyond the registered home.

“As a result the nursing home and the 32 close care units have to be operated separately both in terms of staffing and care provision.

“Consequently the condition requires a link that is effectively prohibited by other statutory requirements.”

Mr Anstey has imposed further conditions that the development must be occupied and operated as part of the Abberton Manor care village, and that the units must be close care only.

He added: “These new conditions were discussed during the hearing and broadly agreed by the two main parties.”