Dozens of Middleton residents took their first chance to see proposals for a £7m-plus care home.
The turnout of 75 people in the first 90 minutes of last Thursday’s exhibition at St Nicholas Church hall pleased the developer, Frontier Estates.
Its 66-bedroom home will replace a disused and repeatedly vandalised poultry farm on land west of Yapton Road. One of the site’s neighbours, Chris Alger, said: “It’s a big development to have there.
“I am concerned about the number of services which will be required for a 66-bedroom home.
“There are going to be a lot of medical waste, laundry, and food deliveries as well as visitors. But any development like this will be good for employment.”
Tim Bell, a resident of Juniper Close for more than 20 years, said: “The place is in a terrible state. Anything that happens to it has to be a good thing.
“There is a lot of concern about the trees on the site, three of which have tree protection orders on them, but it looks like they have been taken care of.
“The site has planning permission for 13 houses and that would mean at least 26 cars for young families. A home should be less disruptive.”
Hugh Coster, of East Avenue, who is an Arun district councillor, said: “Almost anything would be better than the site is at the moment.
“But that does not mean to say that just anything should be built there.
“The site is in a shocking state at the moment and I’m amazed the county council, which owns it, has allowed it to get into that state.”
Frontier Estates’ development director Matt Croger said: “People generally prefer the idea of a care home rather than residential housing. The traffic is mostly outside of peak times and there is little disturbance to the area. There is also a general awareness of the under-provision of care homes.”
All the trees on the site would be kept, he said. The company expects to submit formal plans to Arun District Council this autumn.
If approval is given, work should start next spring. The home will take some 15 months to build to open in late 2021 and will be run by a specialist operator.