PLANS to extend a Gwent care home which looks after people with dementia have been rejected over the proposed removal of trees protected by a preservation order.

Plasgeller Care Home, in Brynmawr, lodged plans to add a quiet room and lounge to its facilities in Intermediate Road to increase communal space for its residents.

But the plans faced objections from residents, a ward councillor and MS Alun Davies over the planned cutting down of two Sycamore trees to the front of the home which are said to be more than 100-years-old.

Brynmawr councillor, Lyn Elias, said the trees, given protection in 1996 under Tree Protection Orders, were a key part of making it “a very attractive road”.


“I am keen that we retain the street scene we have there with the trees,” he said.

And councillor Bernard Willis said the impact of the development on the community would be ‘colossal.’

But Sanjiv Joshi, managing director of Plasgeller care homes, told the planning committee meeting they had been unable to find an alternative location on the site for the proposed extension.

Mr Joshi said providing communal space for residents is “key going forward” for the home and that it is required to provide a “safe and comfortable” space.

“We believe it’s the only service now established for complex dementia needs in all of Gwent,” Mr Joshi said.

“This is at the doorstep of the Brynmawr community, in fact we have three residents we look after from Brynmawr.

“If this setting was not available they would probably have to go outside Gwent for an equivalent.”

Steve Smith, of Blaenau Gwent council’s planning department, said the authority’s social services team supported the home’s need to develop facilities, but added they “do not necessarily support this particular scheme”.

Planners had recommended refusal over the removal of the two trees and visual impact of the development.

They highlighted alternative locations within the site where the development could take place avoiding these impacts.

But councillor John Hill proposed going against the advice of planners, arguing the loss of the trees could be mitigated with planting elsewhere.

“This application isn’t about income from additional beds, it’s about the comfort and facilities for the residents and making their lives a little better,” he added.

However Cllr David Wilkshire said the suggested alternative location for the development, which avoided removing trees, seemed a “fair option” and said he hoped the developer and planners could come to an agreement on a future scheme.