Plans for Fernhurst nursing home extension cause conflict

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PLANS to extend a nursing hospice set in acres of national park woodland have been met with hostility from residents on the grounds it will ‘overburden’ the area.

Rosemary Park Nursing Home in Marley Common, near Fernhurst, caters for terminally ill patients with mental health issues.

An application for the construction of twelve new bedrooms, a residents lounge and eight new underground parking spaces has prompted 40 letters of objection.

Councillor Norma Graves, ward member for Fernhurst and Lynchmere, has slammed the proposals on the grounds the nursing home ‘does not serve local people’.

“The nursing home brings people in from outside the area. There is no need for this development.

“The development would have a significant adverse impact on highway safety of Marley Lane, which cannot handle any more traffic.”

Fernhurst and Lynchmere Parish Councils have both objected the plans.

In a letter of objection Lynchmere Parish Council stated: “We have no doubt the Rosemary Park facility provides quality care.

“However is there a need locally for 30 beds for Park House end-of-life care for this very special category of patient? “We do not think the applicant has demonstrated there is such a local need for this specialist care.”

David Bleach, clerk to Fernhurst Parish Council, described the development as an ‘excessive burden on Marley Lane’ and said it ‘constitutes over development of the site’. The application will be put to South Downs National Park Authority planning committee today (Thursday 13). Officers have recommended that planning permission be refused on the grounds the development would have a ‘significant adverse impact’ on the landscape of the park.

However, plans for 20 additional ensuite bedrooms to be built at St Magnus specialist unit for older men have been recommended for permission by the authority – despite being part of the Rosemary Park nursing site off Marley Lane.

Commenting on the application, Suzanne Riley, said: “Yet another planning application and means to confuse us.

“What does it take to make the planning authorities aware of the accumulative impact this sprawling development at Rosemary Park is having on the rural environment.”