A CONTROVERSIAL bid to turn a former school site into a 66-bed care home has been lost on appeal.

Torsion Care Ltd's proposal for the former Hipperholme Grammar Junior School site at Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe, was refused by planners in December.

More than 150 residents objected to the plans to demolish the old school building and build a care home on the site, with one describing the end result as "a neighbouring skyscraper" on the doorstep.

After an appeal earlier this year, a Government planning inspector has now ruled that planning permission should not be granted for the scheme.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The former Hipperholme Grammar Junior SchoolThe former Hipperholme Grammar Junior School

It was refused by members of Calderdale Council's planning panel because of the building's design and impact as well as issues relating to parking.

Planning inspector TJ Burnham found that the planned three-storey care home would have "an overbearing impact" on some neighbouring houses and would see "significant and harmful overlooking" to the gardens of homes on a nearby street.

Torsion Group, which already has permission to build 14 homes on the same site, confirmed that with the appeal decision it had reverted to its home scheme for the site, spelling the end for the care home proposal.

Mr Burnham added in his report: "The National Planning Policy Framework offers support for new housing in sustainable locations that represents an efficient use of previously developed land including the provision of housing for the elderly.

"I do afford a large degree of weight to the benefits that would arise from the proposal in these respects and in terms of its contribution to housing supply, particularly in the context of the shortfall in housing supply detailed within the evidence.

"However, I have identified that the living conditions of the occupiers of adjacent properties would be significantly harmed as a result of this proposal. This is a matter which also concerns the Framework, and as I have identified significant harm in relation to multiple properties, I have afforded this matter more substantial weight.

"The adverse impacts of granting permission would therefore significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. Subsequently, the proposal does not benefit from the presumption in favour of sustainable development."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Torsion Care Ltd's plans for a 66-bed care home on the former Hipperholme Grammar Junior School site in LightcliffeTorsion Care Ltd's plans for a 66-bed care home on the former Hipperholme Grammar Junior School site in Lightcliffe

Residents’ concerns included a number of highways and air quality concerns – the site, is around 200 metres from the busy Hipperholme crossroads.

But council officers felt the proposals met local and national planning requirements and recommended the committee approve the plans.

The report to councillors stated: “A care home is an appropriate use for a residential area and it is not considered that undue disturbance would be caused to existing residents.”

However residents – who said they did not have issues with the previously approved homes proposal – were unconvinced.

Mr Burnham also concluded that Torsion's concerns over the manner in which the planning committee arrived at its decision, which was against the officer's recommendation, is not a matter for him to consider and should go through the Council's complaints procedure, if Torsion wishes to take it further.