PLANS for an extension and refurbishment to a care home in Halstead to create a new dementia unit have been thrown out.

Halstead Hall, off Braintree Road, was looking to demolish a building in its grounds to create a new 37-bed dementia unit.

The application site forms part of the grounds of the existing 60-bedroom Halstead Hall, on the south-west outskirts of the town.

To the south-west of the application site is a piece of land which was granted planning permission in June 2022 for a development of 20 homes but they have not yet been built.

The Green Lodge building is a non-designated heritage asset, which is empty and in a "poor state of repair”.

Plans included the demolition of most of Green Lodge, the conversion of what is left, and a “significant extension” to create a 37-bed specialist dementia unit.

The ground floor would contain 16 en-suite bedrooms, a lounge, dining room, staff facilities, television room, salon, treatment room, assisted bathroom and office and reception.

On the first floor there would be 21 en-suite bedrooms, an assisted bathroom, office and meeting room, lounge, and balcony area.

The application said the conversion of the existing building would not provide the necessary room standards for disabled dementia care.

Concerns about the plans brought up by Braintree Council included the “inappropriate” size and lack of some ecology information in the proposals as well as damage to the site's heritage.

Speaking during the planning meeting, Halstead Trinity councillor Malcolm Fincken said: “Halstead Town Council has discussed it and most councillors oppose it.

“The proposed dementia unit can’t be opposed and would be a good addition, but the heritage harm is the deciding factor.

“It is an important collection of buildings on the entry into Halstead and it is important the architectural cohesion is retained in any plan.”

He added: “I think the application is misleading in saying it is an extension and refurbishment.

"It is the destruction of that building and replacing it with something else apart from a tiny proportion which is going to be retained.

“I think the applicant needs to come back with a more honest and better thought out plan which we might consider in the future.”

The plans were rejected.