Application 23/02186 - Site of Highway House, Norreys Drive

Comments on Application 23/02186 - Site of Highway House, Norreys Drive

Construction of a care home including car parking, landscaping and provision of amenity space 

With an ageing population it is accepted that there will be an ongoing and increasing demand for residential care - not only because it serves the needs of the individual resident but it also enables long occupied family homes to be released into the housing stock.

However, the size and location of this newly built care home is a major concern. This proposed 6 storey block will occupy the site of an underused car park in a setting that is essentially surrounded by offices. It is situated 1.6 km. from Maidenhead town centre with limited local shopping facilities around 650 m. Although these distances as quoted in the Transport Statement are acceptable walking ranges for healthy individuals, they are not realistic for the aged and infirm.

There will be a total of 68 residential units offering care at all dependency levels. This will generate a considerable number of car journeys by residents, staff and visiting family and friends which is clearly underestimated within the Transport Statement. The provision of only 28 car parking spaces will prove to be inadequate. Only 2 Blue Badge spaces are provided which is surely inadequate given the likely accessibility profile of residents and visitors. The Transport Statement confirms  that 60 spaces should be provided for staff alone, and infers that the lack of provision of spaces will encourage staff to walk, cycle or use the bus. In reality, the car park will be full of staff vehicles with little or no availability for visitors. Presumably, any residents who still are driving will have to give up their vehicles. In addition, it is noted that the communal amenity space is severely limited by the constraints of the site.

We object to the application on the grounds that it is oversized for the location and the site itself. The transport and parking issues and the lack of amenity space can only be resolved if the size of the care home is scaled back considerably.