The Development Applications Board (DAB) has approved plans to build a new hospice to replace Agape House at a site on Spice Hill Road in Warwick.

A planning report to the DAB said: “It is evident this site is suited for housing for persons with special needs, given the size of the property and the existing environmental features.

“The location of the site, roughly in the middle of the island, close to three of the most densely populated parishes and serviced by a public road with access to two of the main public roads, Middle and South Roads, ensures easy access for staff, visitors and deliveries.”

A planning official also noted that the surrounding woodland would provide privacy in a tranquil setting.

“The site visit confirmed the existing rudimentary access point to Spice Hill Road is the most appropriate location and there is no alternative for the driveway to be located elsewhere on the property, traversing both the woodland and agricultural reserve conservation areas,” the report added.

Environmental groups raised concerns about the driveway passing through agricultural and woodland reserves. Apart from that a planning official said the site was ideal.

The application was submitted by architectural firm Lindberg & Simmons on behalf of the charity group Friends of Hospice in September.

The project includes 20 bedrooms on the building’s lower floor, in addition to a kitchen and dining room, gym, salon and family room.

Another eight bedrooms will be on the second floor of the building with offices and verandas overlooking the grounds.

Plans to build a new Agape House were announced in 2019.

Top Feature Photo: An artist’s impression of the new Agape House hospice – Planning Documents planning documents)