SOME Wellington residents reacted with “fury” after plans were submitted to convert a former care home near the town centre into a new housing estate.

Popham Court Care Home, on Courtland Road, which has been unused for a number of years, could be partially demolished to help make way for 29 new houses.

The news prompted a flurry of letters from locals to the council - with some expressing anger at the proposals.

Philip Morgan, who lives near the proposed development site, said he ‘furiously objected’ to the plans, which he accused of not being in keeping with the local area. Writing to planers he said: “I furiously object to this preposterously reckless application...

“Any decision on this application should have the feelings and concerns of the local residents at the forefront..I suggest the developer withdraws this application and returns with one more in keeping with the area.”

Fee Madders was one of a number of residents who raised concern over the town’s infrastructure capacity, saying: “Wellington is full of new homes that the young cannot afford, the rents are extortionate and the schools are full to bursting.

“Perhaps consider another secondary school rather than constant new homes ruining what is left of the green areas around us.”

It was a point raised by Nina King who asked planners “How can the infrastructure cope with the influx of new people?” before urging planners to reject the bid.

Lyn Partridge Webber raised concern over the potential for increased traffic volumes. She said: “There are no suitable roads to accommodate extra traffic, it’s always busy all times of the day on all the roads to and from the proposed site.

“Living next door to Court Drive it is already difficult to back onto our drive. There are always pedestrians using the roads around the site and there is no ay to make access easier.”

Other residents took to Facebook to vent their frustration. Mary Neasham said: “We need better infrastructure before more houses. Not enough schools, doctors and the drainage is rubbish as the heavy rains proved.”

Carrie Tinsley voiced concern over the heritage value of the site, saying: “That building was built by the Fox family for blind soldiers after World War 1. It is part of our town’s history. What next, the park to become a housing estate?”

A heritage report has been submitted by Cotswold Archeology, after carrying out an assessment on behalf of Gadd Properties, who are seeking to develop the site, concluded that the demolition of ‘out of place’ modern elements would benefit the site. In a statement they said: 

“Proposals for the development of the Site include the demolition of Popham House and the partial demolition of The Court, along with the restoration of the historic core to residential use. At present, development proposals are likely to offer a potential for enhancing the significance of The Court, principally through the demolition of incongruous modern structures and additions and works to improve integrity of the historic fabric and form.”

A statement put to planners by Greenslade Taylor Hunt said any increase in traffic would be ‘imperceptible’. They said: “It is considered that the development proposals would be expected to result in a negligible change in peak period vehicle movements, with an increase in the region of one additional movement every seven to eight minutes.

“This is unlikely to be perceptible to road users and would certainly not result in a severe impact.”