A planning inspector is to be asked to rule on whether a developer can build an old people’s home in Brighton.
The home for over 70s would replace three bungalows and two two-storey houses in Old London Road, Patcham.
YourLife Management Services, from Woking, Surrey, has appealed, saying that Brighton and Hove City Council did not reach a decision within the legal time limit.
The council’s Planning Committee is due to discuss the proposal at its next meeting at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday 11 January.
Officials reported that they would have recommended turning down the plans for the home in Old London Road, Patcham, because the site floods and that this would put elderly residents at risk.
The plans involve knocking down the five buildings immediately opposite Patcham House School which is due to close in July next year.
In place of the five properties, YourLife wants to put up a three-storey building containing 44 assisted living apartments for older people with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping.
YourLife is a joint venture between retirement homes builder McCarthy and Stone and the care services business Somerset Care.
A report urges councillors to agree that they “would have refused planning permission, had an appeal against non-determination not been made”.
The report said: “The proposed development would add vulnerable people to an area with a significant history of groundwater flooding and where flooding is likely to reoccur.
“In addition, the amount of permeable surface at the site would be reduced, the development has not adequately taken the flood risk into account, has not offered appropriate mitigation measures and has not proposed an appropriate sustainable drainage system.
“The proposed development is considered to detract from the character and appearance of the street scene and the locality due to the scale, density, massing and width of the building, the contrived and uncharacteristic roof form, the unsympathetic external materials and the loss of trees and shrubs across the site, particularly on the street frontage, and insufficient replacement planting.”
The plans have attracted 347 letters of objection and eight in support. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, which includes Patcham, is among the scheme’s opponents.
Councillor Karen Barford, the lead member for adult social care in the council’s Labour administration, backed the plans. She said that the city had a shortage of up to 1,100 extra care places.
Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, the opposition Conservative group leader on the council, represents Patcham Ward. He wrote to object after attending a public meeting where almost every one of the 150 people present opposed the plans.
Councillor Theobald said: “This is one of the biggest issues to face Patcham for some time.”
Objectors have set up a website called Protect Patcham.