A CARE home looking to expand has refuted claims that the consultation process was concealed from residents.
Last week, the Advertiser reported that more than 170 residents have objected to plans to expand Highfield House at 92-94 Higher Drive
The home currently has 27 bedrooms. The plans add a two-storey building with an extra 18 bedrooms along with more parking spaces.
A spokesman from Highfield House said that independent consultants co-ordinated a programme of community consultation launched in February. He said that this included distributing 300 leaflets to neighbours, a website which was regularly updated, and two open days which were held at Highfield House in March.
The spokesman added that Highfield House has tried to balance planning requirements with those of the community, and that during pre-application meetings the local authority has worked with the home to overcome planning concerns.
He said: "We are primarily about the delivery of high quality care for those that need it most, not engaging in battles with the local community.
"We received feedback from a smaller number of local residents than we might have liked, yet views were nevertheless obtained from local residents, the care community, from staff, patients and their families."
He added: "At the last appeal, for a larger extension, resident groups were concerned by traffic matters.
"Now that we are proposing a smaller home, it appears it is the size that is the main concern. Establishing a clear view from the local community is, in itself, a challenge."