Worries over care home bid for major St Albans throughfare

London Road perspective

London Road perspective - Credit: Archant

Worried residents are up in arms about proposals to build a giant care home along a busy St Albans road.

The proposal relates to 270-274 London Road and is made by Signature Senior Lifestyle Limited, a company providing high-end live-in care.

Plans submitted to St Albans district council include demolishing existing dwellings and building of a residential care home, with associated landscaping, parking and alterations to access.

But many of the neighbours of the scheme are not happy about it. St Albans UKIP vice-chair, Alan Malin, said: “I have been approached by concerned residents, who are up in arms.

“We are not a bunch of NIMBYs, just worried about the loss of prime housing land for an enormous commercial development that will have a devastating impact on our neighbourhood.

“We don’t object to care homes; we just don’t want one of this size that clearly hasn’t been thought through properly, considering the effect it would have on our already diminishing local services.”

Mr Malin claims the new development plan is a threat because of its size, how it will affect parking and the community.

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He said: “The building is enormous in comparison with surrounding properties, is equivalent to 50 Meadowcroft houses, but all in one block.

“The building has three storeys and the ground floor alone is equivalent in area to Waitrose, St Albans. Parking in the surrounding streets will become further congested. It will be serving the most affluent, not necessarily our local elderly community.

“The site backs on to private homes in New House Park and Mile House Lane and will seriously impact on the surrounding area.”

But a spokesman for Signature said that its customers would mostly be local, that the size was necessary for the required quality of care to meet a gap in the market and that the proposed 34-on-site parking spaces was sufficient.

He went on: “The care home would provide 85 residents with a choice of high quality en-suite studios and apartment-sized suites, which are larger than market-standard rooms and cater for a range of different needs.

“As is the case with other Signature care homes, the majority of residents are likely to already be living in the local area.

“Signature’s proposed care home would help to address the quantitative and qualitative need for care beds locally, as well as creating approximately 90 new jobs in a range of full and part-time roles.

“Traffic and parking are often concerns with new development but care homes for the elderly are acknowledged to be low traffic generators.”