Care home could almost double in size

A CARE home operator wants to knock down and rebuild one of its homes, to almost double its capacity.

Barchester Healthcare closed Begbrook House in Frenchay in July last year.

It said the 32-bedroom care home in Sterncourt Road, which was built in the 1980s, needed “significant repairs and refurbishment” and would be closed for at least a year.

However the company has now submitted plans to demolish the existing single-storey building and replace it with a brand new, two-storey home with 60 en suite bedrooms.

In a statement accompanying a planning application to the city council, agents Walsingham Planning said: “Barchester Healthcare, having undertaken a comprehensive review of the existing care home at Begbrook, have determined that the building is at the end of its useful life and is not capable of accommodating the current and future high-quality care needs of residents.”

The agents said the new home would have a “similar footprint” to the existing building but would have an extra floor, which would “make more effective and efficient use” of the brownfield site.

As the Voice went to print, six neighbours had objected to the plans.

One said the plans were “totally unacceptable” to residents of neighbouring Stanshaw Close, Bradeston Grove and Sterncourt Road, as the taller building would ruin views in the conservation area and involved felling trees.

They also said the plans did not include enough parking for the extra staff and visitors at a bigger home, as staff would not be able to rely on Frenchay’s “laughable” bus service.

Another said building a two-storey building on the site would “degrade the privacy of the existing homeowners”, adding that rooms in the proposed building would have a “direct view into bedrooms and gardens”.

The plans can be viewed on the planning section of Bristol City Council’s website, by searching for application 23/03723/F.

Barchester’s decision to close the home last year came two months after regulator the Care Quality Commission visited Begbrook House, following a report of “safeguarding concerns” from the city council.

At the time the home was providing personal and nursing care for 23 residents.

The CQC said there were enough staff and effective quality assurance systems at the home, and residents felt safe and positive about the management of the home.

Barchester said the subsequent closure of the home was unrelated to the CQC visit and report.