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Development of specialist dementia care facility in Summerhill proposed

An example of the character and look of Pen Y Don based on Pendine's Bryn Seiont Newydd in Caernarfon (Pic: planning documents)

A NEW specialist dementia care facility with 75 beds could be built at the grounds of Wrexham’s Pendine Park Nursing Home if plans are given the go-ahead.

Wrexham Council’s planning committee reconvenes next week after the summer recess and on the agenda is a proposal for the development of the ‘Pen Y Don’ facility, earmarked for land near Summerhill Road in Summerhill.

Aerial view of the location at the Pendine site (Pic: planning documents)

The plans have been recommended for approval but concerns have been raised by the community council about speeding vehicles along Summerhill Road and the increased threat they pose to staff who walk to work.

They are also concerned about traffic figures and bus timetable information included within the application being inaccurate or out of date.

If granted the development could create jobs for 15 to 20 additional staff, along with 17 additional parking spaces, with space available for a further six.

A planning officer’s report has been produced for councillors to consider weighing up the benefits of and demand for the facility with planning policy.

It states: “The proposed development would be an addition to a well-established care facility which currently provides accommodation for approximately 250 residents.

“These residents are provided with nursing, medication and treatment services for matters such as dementia care, critical injury and rehabilitation. The existing facility has developed over time and comprises a number of substantial buildings.

“Together, these provide for a significant level of care provision within the county borough for a number of service providers such as the NHS and other local authorities. The facility is also a significant local employer.”

An example of the character and look of Pen Y Don based on Pendine’s Bryn Seiont Newydd in Caernarfon (Pic: planning documents)

The report adds: “Given the growth in the retirement age population, there is and will continue to be an increasing need for facilities like the proposed development.

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“The applicant has also provided supporting information citing the loss of capacity in the care sector in North Wales in recent years with the closure of a number of care homes, notably Trwythen Care Home, Gresford and Gwastad Care Home near Cefn Y Bedd.

“There are also relatively few similar facilities of this type with the county borough.

“Locating the new development within the curtilage of an established facility ensures its impact upon the countryside and Green Barrier/Wedge is minimised. The building would be viewed in the context of existing buildings.

“The entire existing facility is situated within extensive and well-maintained grounds enclosed by mature trees and hedges. It is seen within its own setting with limited views of the grounds from outside of the site.”

According to the planning officer’s report the site is approximately 600m from the edge of the built up area of Wrexham and around 400m from the built up edge of Gwersyllt.

Planning chiefs say the proposed development would not result in harmful encroachment of development into the countryside, or adversely impact upon the setting of existing settlements.

Outline planning permission was granted in June 2019 for a similar development with this application differing only in floor area; increasing the number of beds from 50 to 76.

A design and access statement has been drawn up by McCormick Architecture and submitted with the application, on behalf of the Pendine Park Care Organisation.

It states: “Approval of the Pen Y Don proposal at full planning stage will be wholly appropriate and supportive of the needs of the community for the future, especially in the light of pressures on the NHS, and demonstrates Pendine Park’s commitment to invest in the future of Wrexham, in its community, employment and care of the elderly and frail.”

The planning officer report adds: “The need for additional capacity in the care sector and the location of the proposed development within a large and established and care facility are factors which constitute very exceptional circumstances.

“The Green Wedge location of the site would therefore not warrant refusal of the proposed development.”

Wrexham Council’s planning committee will have its say and decide on the proposals when it meets on Monday (September 4).