COUNCILLORS will rule on plans to build a 65-bed nursing home and public car park in a village outside Chester.

Cheshire West and Chester Council's planning committee are due to meet – via video link – on Thursday, May 28 to vote on the proposed development in Tarporley.

Octopus Healthcare and Liberty Properties want to construct a three-storey nursing home, which they say will create 65 jobs, as well as a 94-space public car park on land at the rear of 68 High Street.

Despite support for the proposal, a planning report has recommended refusal due to the scheme representing 'inappropriate development' on a protected green space and the applicants failing to demonstrate 'very special circumstances' for permission to be granted.

Ward councillor Eveleigh Moore-Dutton has called the application in for the planning committee to rule on because of its significance and the high level of public interest.

In the council's planning report, it states that the proposed scheme – which would provide full specialist dementia and elderly nursing care – has received support from both Cllr Moore-Dutton and Tarporley Parish Council.

The report says: "She (Cllr Moore-Dutton) considers the facility is greatly needed to free hospital beds for people in pressing medical need and its provision, catering for people with dementia, would provide local as well as societal benefits. This is combined with providing employment.

"She believes very special circumstances do exist and the local protected green space is neither readily accessible nor a sight of special beauty."

It adds: "The Parish Council are fully in support of this application. They believe the provision of the care home and a community car park will benefit the residents of Tarporley by providing much needed infrastructure and open views of the exceptional countryside."

A number of objections as well as letters of support for the development were also received from the community.

Those against the plans cited reasons such as the facility having a 'detrimental impact' on the open countryside and the 'lack of infrastructure in the village' being stretched further.

Other concerns raised included an increase in traffic and parking, impact on highway safety, and noise.

Letters of support referred to both a car park and nursing home being 'greatly needed' in the village, as well as the development helping to 'rejuvenate' the High Street and footfall.

The local authority's conservation and design officer objected to the development on the basis that 'the proposed height, scale and mass of the building are alien to the character of the area', while the landscape team were opposed due to the 'significant' landscape and visual impacts.

In recommending refusal, the report concludes: "The proposal represents inappropriate development within the protected local green space for which very special circumstances have not been demonstrated.

"The proposed development does not require a countryside location and would harm the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, encroaching into the countryside which is harmful to the landscape character and wide landscape assets.

"The development fails to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and undermines the settings of the heritage assets, where any benefits do not outweigh the harm."