New plans for a block of flats in Keynsham as replacement care home appeal is lost

The old Treetops care home is on the right as you enter the health centre car park

A developer has lost an appeal to build a replacement care home spread over three buildings on the Treetops site in St Clements Road in Keynsham – but another planning application has now been submitted for a three-storey block of 39 flats.

The 57-bed home scheme on the derelict single-storey site, with access from the Keynsham Health Centre car park, was submitted by UKS Ltd who appealed after  B&NES Council refused outline planning permission on six grounds – the setting of the conservation area, landscape setting and Green Belt impact, design, amenity space, drainage and sustainable energy provision.

The appeal has now been dismissed by a planning inspector on the grounds of layout and amenity space only.

He said the car parking arrangements and areas intended for landscaping and private garden spaces would not allow for good design: “It is unclear why so many car parking spaces are required. Even if 33 car parking spaces could be justified, the staff car parking would occupy much space within the centre of the site. Together with the row of visitor parking in front of the buildings, the proposal would have very significant areas of hardstanding and would convey the impression of a layout heavily influenced by car parking. This would not amount to good design.”

He said the ‘footprints’ of three buildings would result in limited space for landscape planting to soften the impact of the development; and described the proposed private garden spaces as “rather mean.”

Meanwhile the new application for outline planning permission for 39 flats is from Treetops Bristol Ltd. It includes 46 car parking spaces, eight visitor spaces and 84 cycle spaces. The 30 two-bedroom flats would be dual-aspect with private balconies. There would also be nine one-bedroom flats.

The neighbouring health centre

The site plan shows that vehicular access would continue to be from the shared access on St Clements Road, with parking retained along the front of the site as well as at basement level, accessed from the front of the building.

The new block would have broadly the same footprint as the existing building, and has been designed to sit below the ridge height of the neighbouring health centre.

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