A PROPOSED extension to an old people’s homes has led to a flood of complaints by councillors and residents.

Plans to enlarge the Hillcroft Nursing Home on the High Street, Wordsley, are being opposed because objectors say it would be an over-development in an existing conservation area.

But the owners of the residential care home say the extension to the existing 19th century building is needed if it is to continue to operate in the future.

It is asking permission for to build a single storey extension to replace lost bed spaces after the Care Quality Commission said residents sharing rooms was no longer acceptable.

The plans are opposed by an 86-signature petition, 30 letters of objections from residents and submissions by five councillors including the council leader, Patrick Harley .

Objectors say it would be overbearing, not in character with the conservation area and that it would impact on surrounding listed buildings in the Wordsley Church Conservation Area.

They also claim the extension could lead to the road being blocked by delivery vehicles or ambulances. 

But planning officers have recommended the application be approved saying the potential harm has to be weighed against the viability of the home and its benefit to the local community.

In their report to Dudley Council’s Development Control Committee, they said: “It is considered in this case, the measure of optimum viable use is that of the minimum number of resident rooms necessary to sustain this care home, which of course is of great importance for the elderly residents and their families.”

Recommending planning permission is granted, they added: “It is considered on balance that the development would lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of a designated heritage asset namely the Wordsley Church Conservation Area and the public benefit of the proposal would outweigh this harm. 

“In addition, there would not be any significant detrimental impact on surrounding residents.”

Councillors will discuss the plan at their meeting on Wednesday October 9.