'Unwanted' care home bid for bowling and tennis club site rejected

The company behind the plans wanted to demolish the site and create a 60-bed home complete with a bar and cinema.

Care home bid for bowling and tennis club site rejected after being branded ‘unwanted’ LDRS

A care home company’s bid to build on a bowling and tennis club site in Glasgow has been rejected in the city’s west end.

Northcare Ltd requested permission to demolish the club in Jordanhill and create a 60-bed home complete with a bar and cinema – but a local councillor has said the scheme is “unwanted”.

The city’s planning committee has now turned down the application, which sparked over 100 objections, due to the proposed loss of protected open space.

An earlier bid, for a 66-bed home on the site, was refused in March this year by planning officials, who decided the project would not “protect the integrity or character of the city’s natural environment”.

Northcare claimed the home, at Anniesland Tennis and Bowling Club, would have provided “much needed accommodation for the ever increasing elderly population, allowing them to live their lives with dignity and independence with specialist assistance at hand”.

It planned to include a community garden, cinema, cafe, rooftop terraces and a cocktail bar in the development, which would have seen £10m invested and created 90 jobs.

Councillor Eunis Jassemi at the bowling club site in Jordanhill.

However, a planning official told councillors that while there is “demand for more elderly accommodation” that “doesn’t overcome the policy protection, the very strong presumption in terms of open space protection”. Officials recommended the plans were refused.

Cllr Eva Bolander, SNP, said the proposal was “a bit shoehorned into an area that so clearly has been initially designated as use for the community”.

Bailie Patricia Ferguson, Labour, added: “It seems to me that the applicant doesn’t meet the requirements in terms of open space and I think what we actually have is a number of packages of smaller areas put together in order to try and come up to the figure that is required.

“I don’t really think that is an acceptable or workable way of doing it.”

However, Cllr Maureen Burke, Labour, moved that the application should be approved. “I understand the local community and it is open space, and it’s not meeting the criteria,” she said. “But I would like committee members to bear in mind that care homes are one of the things we are going to struggle with in the not too distant future.”

She added: “When you look at the investment that is being put into the area and the jobs that would be created, it isn’t just about the care home, it’s about what that can provide on a wider scale.”

Cllr Ken Andrew, SNP, the planning committee chairman, suggested the application was turned down, with his amendment passing by seven votes to three.

There were 115 objectors to the application, including Cllr Eunis Jassemi, Labour, and Cllr Lana Reid-McConnell, Greens. They argued the care home would be too high, remove much-needed outdoor public space and cause overlooking.

After the committee’s decision, Cllr Jassemi, Labour, said he was “delighted” an “unwanted development in Jordanhill” had been rejected. “Residents want the space to be as accessible as possible, not restricted to a few,” he added.

“The development would have resulted in the loss of precious open space against council policy. I will always welcome new investment in the area, but it has to be the right investment that benefits the whole community.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with residents in developing a space that truly suits the needs of the residents of Jordanhill.”

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