Meeting set to discuss Baldock mental health unit

The Care home at Baldock manor has erected a fence around the unit but residents are not happy with

The Care home at Baldock manor has erected a fence around the unit but residents are not happy with it. - Credit: Archant

MEMBERS of North Herts District Council’s planning committee will meet next week to discuss an application about a controversial fence that was erected without planning permission.

The application has been called in to be discussed by Cllr Michael Muir, after applicant Nouvita erected a three meter high fence around the back of Baldock Manor, providing an enclosed area for patients with mental health issues.

The fence was erected in March after it was claimed some residents tried to escape the facility in London Road, Baldock.

Permission was granted to the owners in 2010 to turn the building into a 55 bedroom care home for the elderly but residents living nearby learnt in March that the facility was a secure unit for people with mental health and substance misuse issues.

Nine letters of objections have been received by the council from residents living in Hillcrest.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting states: “The height and overall appearance of the structure is visually obtrusive especially when seen from the nearest rear gardens of the properties, the structure is inappropriate and should be reduced in height or removed altogether, the structure is constructed out of inappropriate materials, galvanized steel, which reflects sunlight making it more obtrusive, the structure is not in keeping with the surroundings, the visual impact is made worse by the slope of the site when seen from Hillcrest.”

The report states that if the structure was removed or reduced to a height of 2m then the safety of some of the residents in the care home could not be guaranteed.

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The application has been recommended for approval on the condition that it is painted dark green to reduce the visual impact.

The application will be discussed next Thursday.

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