Council responds to residents’ concerns, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
A council-led care home scheme in Winchmore Hill has been scaled down in response to residents’ concerns – but some neighbours still have reservations about the project.
At a meeting on Wednesday cabinet members agreed to reduce the size of Reardon Court Extra Care Facility, a planned redevelopment of an existing care home in Cosgrove Close, from 91 to 70 units.
According to the council, a mound that acts as a barrier to sound from a nearby recycling centre will be retained, and the authority is considering adding other landscaping and structures to reduce noise.
But Lina Vetova, a spokesperson for local residents, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service many neighbours still had concerns about the development – and said there was “no clear statement” setting out how these would be addressed.
Speaking before the meeting, Lina said the revised plans meant the building would be twice its current size in terms of the number of units, and the scheme could add to local traffic disruption caused by Barrowell Green Recycling Centre.
She claimed the council had already demolished part of the mound shielding homes from the noise produced by the centre and said many neighbours had not received letters notifying them of the redevelopment plan.
A major concern raised by residents was an objection from the Metropolitan Police over a lack of information from the council regarding crime reduction measures.
The Met Police has now confirmed that it no longer objects to the proposals, as planning chiefs agreed in June that a ‘secured by design’ condition should be added to a planning consent to help reduce crime.
Reardon Court Extra Care Facility is designed to provide affordable housing for older people, allowing them to live healthy and active lives while keeping their links to the local community. Care workers will be available on site around the clock to provide assistance for residents.
A planning application for the revised scheme is due to be submitted in July, after cabinet members agreed the changes. The budget for the project is £30.1million, with the Greater London Authority providing a £10.4m grant towards this cost.
Following the cabinet meeting, a council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the concerns expressed by neighbouring residents to the facility and, as a result, we have reviewed the design proposals for Reardon Court, reducing the size of the scheme. Any outstanding matters will be addressed through further general engagement and the formal planning consultation process.
“In regard to Barrowell Green, there was a surge in appointments to visit the recycling facility in the first part of June. To resolve this, we have increased the number of slots and reduced the number of cars per booking, and residents can book a slot the same or next day.
“As a result, we have seen a reduction in cars queueing to enter the recycling centre. Suez, the contractor at Barrowell Green, is investigating the use of noise-abatement fencing, which should resolve the issue highlighted related to noise.”