Horsham councillors have approved plans to demolish a ‘drab, miserable, horrible-looking building’ and replace it with a care home for disabled adults.
The application for a two-storey, seven-bedroom supported living home off Denne Road, was given the thumbs-up by members of the council’s planning committee north last Tuesday night (March 5).
The site, which is within the Dukes Square car park, is currently home to an old garage, which was described by architect Peter Finch as ‘a very ugly shed’.
It is used by the council to store street furniture.
The new building has been designed to give the residents, who have physical and learning disabilities, ‘a feeling of house and home’.
Mr Finch told the meeting: “While the building is an institution, the design intent is to de-institutionalise it and make it feel like home.”
There were no objections to the application, which was put before the committee because the district council owns the land.
Applicant Patrick Carr, of Westhope Care Ltd, told members that the company operated three homes in Horsham, all of which were full, and employed more than 80 staff.
He said: “In consultation with West Sussex, the idea here is to create a home for seven older people with learning and physical disabilities, who could benefit from the quiet environment of Dukes Square.
“This would be their home. They are coming from a very vulnerable section of society.”
The application received full support from the committee.
Adrian Lee (Con, Denne) said the garage was a ‘drab. miserable, horrible-looking building’, adding that the new designs ‘look excellent’.
Godfrey Newman (Lib Dem, Forest) said told the meeting that he used to work in a hospital for people with learning disabilities which was ‘completely unsuited for modern times’.
Describing the Denne Road site as ‘ideal’ for the residents, he added: “It is actually going to enhance their future and it’s going to do a lot of good to the town, to actually have these sorts of people around us all the time and enjoying life – which I suspect they may not if they were in these old places.”