A 64-bedroom, specialist care home could be built on the site of a stables in West Kirby, it has been revealed.
Chester-based Liberty Properties is putting forward preliminary plans for the specialist dementia and end of life care home, which they say will create 64 full and part-time jobs.
However, the announcement of the 3.5 acre development in Rectory Road has been met with strong opposition from local residents, who fear it could damage the historic part of the town, known as “old West Kirby”.
A spokeswoman for the Rectory Road Stables and Field Sale campaign group said: “It forms a significant part of the Old West Kirby Conservation Area and any changes to the use of the land are of enormous concern to local residents.
“Not only does this area hold treasured memories for generations of people but it is also rich in wildlife habitats that would be threatened by any development.
“Several options for the land that would benefit the West Kirby community as a whole have been previously suggested, and we would like to know why these ideas have not been allowed appropriate discussion and review.”
They also raised concerns about increased traffic on the narrow country road, which already suffers from parking issues due to the nearby school, park and church.
She added: “It is our opinion that the potential sale and development of this land ought to be reviewed by the Diocese in consultation with all stakeholders.”
Emyr Williams, development director at Liberty Properties, said the plans for a care home were in response to increasing local demand for high quality, specialist care particularly for people with dementia and those requiring end of life care.
He added: “There is a shortage of specialist care homes of this type in Wirral along with an increasing demand due to the ageing population.
“We are currently in discussions with an operator to run the development and if those discussions prove successful, we will submit a planning application to Wirral Council.
“I’d also like to reassure local residents that if this project goes forward to a planning application, we will be carrying out a thorough public consultation and welcome feedback from the community on any concerns they may have.”
The Diocese of Chester, which owns the land, issued a letter to local residents saying a sale had been agreed in principle but was dependent upon the developer getting planning permission for the project.
An extract from the letter stated: ‘Whilst we note your disappointment, the land is an investment, the sale of which will enable us to carry out our primary function: to serve people and be a Christian presence in every community across the diocese.’