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Thursday January 28 2021

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In Full . . .

Lawns decision puts people first

Posted on November 03 2005 at 10:16:23

I refer to the letter from Mr Harry England regarding The Lawns residential care home in Alvechurch and his objections to our planning approval for assisted living units, conservatory and more rooms. I wish to make the following points.

The road to obtaining planning permission (including our recent listed building consent) has been long and winding, but it’s been well worth it.

I understand that in most planning situations, commercial or residential, some folk are going to object. Look at the church hall Ark, for instance: that caused more controversy than you can shake a stick at.

I personally did not object to this project, even though it is less than 100 yards from The Lawns. The people who did support our project, however, account for many more than those who didn’t. Residents and their families, staff, local people (many I didn’t even know), businesses and suppliers and so on.

In all, I received more than 40 letters of support, which in turn were passed on to district councillors Jean Luck and Roger Hollingworth. I wish to point out that these two councillors have been the backbone of this campaign.

The care sector is constantly at the mercy of policies, procedures and new legislation. It is for these very reasons that so many care homes close down. Mr England states in his letter that The Lawns has been a viable undertaking in its present form for many years.

That may well be true, but it certainly won’t be in the not-too-distant future if we don’t expand. With the ever-increasing financial implications that policies and legislation bring, along with huge rises in staff wages and running costs, we would probably become another fatality of the care home sector.

So, hypothetically, if The Lawns were to close its doors to more than 50 years of service to the elderly folk of the area, what would it then become? My guess is that it would either stand empty for years or be redeveloped into flats/appartments for professional business people.

Fortunately, this will not happen as we have now secured a long-term future. The development has been very carefully planned and thought out and, in the opinion of the majority, has some beautiful architectural touches.

It won’t “ruin the ambience of the whole area”. Hardly any of the development is overlooked by any residential property. The development will be mostly screened with existing trees and bushes and we propose to use further planting of new trees and shrubs where possible.

This development is much needed, as both councillors Luck and Hollingworth agree, along with other Bromsgrove District Council committee members who voted for it. It gives the community employment and elderly people quality care facilities for the future.

It is rather more important, I’d say, to put people before politics.

Darren Oliver, Owner/Proprietor, The Lawns, Alvechurch


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