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New day care centre sparks planning debate

PUBLISHED: 11:48 03 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:49 03 April 2014

Archant

Day Care Centre opening amid county council cuts sparks complaints over alleged lack of planning permission.

A BRAND new day care centre in Bideford which opened yesterday (Wednesday) has sparked a number of complaints to Torridge District Council.

The Kingsley Day Care Centre at 21 Orchard Rise in Bideford hopes to provide day care and activities for older people and those with dementia.

But Torridge District Council has received a number of complaints and is currently investigating as the current use of the building as a dwelling.

Councillor Chris Leather, ward member for Orchard Hill, said: “I have received complaints from residents of Orchard Rise since last Friday, when it became common knowledge regarding what was happening at number 21.

“I have asked Torridge officers to serve an enforcement notice on the Kingsley Day Care Centre if it starts operations.

“Once this is served, it is an offence to continue to operate without planning permission.”

Jennifer Stewart, who runs the centre alongside Samantha Major, said she had spoken to her solicitors and did not see an issue with the planning.

“We are allowed to look after whoever we want in our residence,” she said.

“I have had letters and cards from other neighbours saying how wonderful it is – there only seem to be a few who do not want us here.

“We have got loads of GPs offerings letters of support and Devon County Council has issued us with a contract straight away.

“This is the way that care is supposed to be run and it is a great thing for Bideford.”

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