A PROPOSED housing development has been criticised for how construction work will disturb residents of a neighbouring care home. 

The 28-home development will be built behind the Hollies, a care home in Burghfield which provides residential, nursing, and palliative care. 

The plans were also criticised by local residents for being too close to Pondhouse Copse, which is ancient woodland. An ecologist’s report was described by one resident, Dr Gail Johnson, as ‘completely useless’. 

The criticisms were heard by West Berkshire Council’s planning committee on August 7, which voted to approve reserved matters like landscaping, scale and layout of the plans. 

This meeting was only to vote on these reserved matters and not grant planning permission, which was given in 2018. 

Ian Morrin, a Burghfield parish councillor, said: “This is an unpopular development within Burghfield because of the impact on the Hollies.” 

He cited the universal declaration on human rights, and said the care home residents should not be subject to ‘cruel and inhumane treatment’.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said the construction noise could have a ‘direct and immediate impact’ on the care home residents’ health. She said noise can cause stress-related illnesses like sleep deprivation and depression. 

Michelle Thomson, representing the developer Crest Nicholson, said discussion would continue with the Hollies on agreeing a buffer between the care home and the development. 

Councillor Graham Bridgman (Con, Burghfield & Mortimer) said: “Look carefully at the hours of work and where construction takes place. These residents expect to be getting up at 10am and don’t want to be disturbed by construction before that.”

But the agreed hours of work were already set at 7.30am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am until 6pm on Saturday, with no work on Sundays or bank holidays. David Pearson, a council planning officer, said councillors would ‘probably not’ be allowed to change that. 

However Mr Pearson did say the council’s environmental health team could help with any future noise problems. Cllr Jeremy Cottam said: “I would ask members of the public to keep a close eye on that, and please let us know.” 

Councillors on the planning committee voted to approve the reserved matters, with minor amendments to the layout of one house.