Care boss calls for councillor’s resignation after ‘greedy developer’ jibe
September 25, 2018
The boss of an award winning Cheshire-based care home company is calling for the resignation of a Warrington councillor after what he considers to be inaccurate, inappropriate and misleading comments were made about a planning application submitted by his business for new care facilities in Lymm.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Lymm North and Thelwall, Ian Marks, made the comments about the proposed application for a multimillion pound care facility on the site of the Macdonald Hotel on Whitbarrow Road, accusing the company of “gross overdevelopment” and of being a “greedy developer completely ignoring the community in which the site is located.”
Director of McGoff Group Chris McGoff, has hit back, accusing the Councillor of hypocrisy and saying there were many flaws in his argument that could ultimately mislead the local community and adversely affect future levels of quality care that could be delivered for some of the most elderly and vulnerable people in the borough.
“I entirely object to the defamatory comments made by Councillor Marks, and the highly prejudicial statements made about me, the business and this planning application,” said McGoff.
“In addition to taking legal action, we have made a formal complaint to Warrington Council through the official complaints procedure and are seeking his immediate resignation.
“The comments made by Councillor Marks are not only highly offensive, but completely hypocritical. Only as recently as July, Mr Marks was quoted in the Warrington Guardian highlighting the lack of social care in the area and calling for ‘better joined up thinking’ to avoid more ‘years of misery where the sick, vulnerable and elderly are repeatedly let down’. He is playing politics at the expense of potentially depriving the delivery of much needed fit-for-purpose facilities in an area where there is a proven and well-documented shortage and in our view is potentially technically misrepresenting the application,” said McGoff.
The application for the Macdonald Hotel site on Whitbarrow Road in Lymm includes a request to build a new 66 bed care centre, children’s day nursery and elderly care apartments. Mr McGoff said the proposal had the full support of Macdonald Hotels who needed to redevelop the site due to the loss making nature of the current hotel.
“Some people, including Councillor Marks, may not be aware that the site already has extant planning permission for a significant hotel expansion,” he said.
“Our proposed building is circa 40% smaller in terms of floor space and circa 20% smaller in terms of built footprint with more green space and, as such, has a much lower impact on the local environment while significantly increasing social care provision within the local community. If our proposed scheme is smaller than the one that already has approved extant planning permission then how can it be gross overdevelopment?
“I also entirely object to the accusation of greedy developer,” said McGoff. “As this is not a quick return investment often associated with the build and sell of open market housing. These are purpose-built care facilities that we build, retain and operate from, with a very lengthy return on investment and we are in this for the long haul.”