Councillors to discuss plans for new 66-bed care home in Broadstairs

How it could look (image LNT)

Proposals for a 66-bed care home for older people in Broadstairs will be discussed  by Thanet councillors next week.

LNT Care Developments want to build the care home on land off Northwood Road and Millenium Way.

The site is currently hardstanding land with one unused and incomplete commercial building. The building was constructed for a telecommunications signal regeneration facility in 2000 but was never completed.

LNT say the home will be for general and dementia care and provide employment for 52 staff as well as providing jobs during construction.

The home will be a two-storey, purpose-built building with single-room accommodation and en-suite wetroom facilities.

There will be amenity spaces, including cafes/bars/dining rooms; quiet lounges/family rooms; a library, garden room, cinema and hairdressers.

The site will also have catering facilities, staff showers and changing rooms and 25 parking spaces, including 2 accessible, 2 EVCP and 8 cycle spaces) .

The property will be built by LNT Construction.

Image LNT

Documents submitted by LNT say: “The proposals represent a realistic, certain and important development that will regenerate the site and enhance its contribution to the local economy, community and environment.

“The site recently became available and was purchased by the applicant. Being in a sustainable location, it is suitable and deliverable in the short-term, and offers significant opportunities to improve on the quality and amenity of the local area.

“Whilst these proposals have come forwards during a challenging economic period, they represent a significant investment in the local economy and community. The key elements of the proposals and the numerous benefits available, most notably:

  • Boosting the quality, availability and choice of care accommodation for the changing needs of an ageing population by offering high-quality and adaptable accommodation that safeguards and enhances quality of life;
  • Increasing employment, training and career development opportunities for local people of diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.
  • Enhancing the site’s sustainability by utilising on-site renewable energy technologies to maximise energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience to climate change events.

“The applicant is proposing a significant and ambitious investment in the local community and economy through the provision of a high-quality and sustainably constructed care home; during another challenging economic period. The Site is sustainably located, standalone and vacant; it has a longstanding detriment to the local area and has made no positive contribution to the local area for over 20 years.”

Image LNT

The scheme is supported by Kent County Council strategic commissioning, which says: “We have had contact with LNT Developments on potential sites in Thanet since 2019 and more recently we have specifically discussed the development of this scheme. If successful, they would be looking to work with KCC on the scheme, intend to join the council’s DPS framework for older people’s residential care, and would be looking to provide services for people with dementia.”

Thanet council’s Local Plans officer says the care home should be on a different site rather than one that is earmarked for storage, office, industrial uses as part of the Thanet Reach land.

They say: “We acknowledge the need for this type of accommodation, but such schemes should be directed to one of the many suitable housing allocations in the Local Plan, rather than one of the few retained employment sites.

“Our main concern remains the loss of employment land and in particular the range and choice of employment land supply. Urban employment sites have been steadily eroded and lost to higher value uses over the years. We have few sustainable urban sites in the supply and as such would wish to protect them.”

However, a report to councillors on the planning committee also points out that part of Thanet Reach was deallocated from employment uses and part of the care home proposals fall within a site suitable for residential use. The report also highlights the lack of any occupation on the site for the past 20 years and the 52 jobs that will be created by the care home.

The council case officer is recommending the plans be approved.

The proposals will be discussed by the planning committee on December 14.