Extensions approved, but parking concerns noted

The Grange care home in Rennington.The Grange care home in Rennington.
The Grange care home in Rennington.
Councillors recognised local concerns about parking near a Rennington care home, but were unable to refuse plans for extensions at the site.

An application for the erection of two single-storey extensions and a link corridor to the rear of The Grange were recommended for approval at last Thursday’s North Northumberland Local Area Council meeting and were subsequently given the nod by five votes to zero with one abstention.

The extension to the north-west elevation will provide a modest expansion of the day room. The extension to the south-east will provide two additional en-suite bedrooms and a laundry room.

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Rennington Parish Council had objected ‘on grounds of parking provision, residential amenity, road safety, reliance on the adjacent development being completed, access for emergency vehicles, surface-water drainage and impact on trees to the rear of the site’.

At the meeting, Coun Kevin Burdett explained that most of the parish council’s concerns had been answered by the applicant, but the one remaining issue was the traffic levels generated by The Grange and its impact on parking and access in the village.

However, Graham Fairs, from the county council’s highways team, said: “It is acknowledged that there are issues on that section as the parish council has indicated.

“It is not reasonable for this relatively small application to be required to provide mitigation for those existing issues or for the application to be refused because the highways authority doesn’t consider there is evidence that the development would materially add to those issues.”

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Head of planning services, Mark Ketley, added: “It falls outside this application to solve an existing problem, but we can take it to highways colleagues to see if there’s something which can be done in terms of mitigation.”

Coun Steven Bridgett also cautioned against hindering the care home, particularly if it needs to expand, as it is a valuable facility for the area.