AFTER fighting off three previous attempts, residents in Barnehurst have lost their battle to stop a care home being built in their street.

Bexley councillors bowed to the inevitable and voted by eight to six to approve plans for the 53-bed home in Stephen Road.

Applicants Carebase Ltd and Priory Developments have been forced to reduce the size and scale of their plans in the face of determined opposition by residents.

The applicants asked to replace 43,45 and 47 Stephen Road with a 62-bed home in 2006, which was rejected and 2007 asked for permission for a 60-bed home.

When this was refused, they appealed.

A government planning inspector rejected the appeal but only because of the size of the building and its nearness to the site boundaries, the building materials being used and the impact the building would have on views from Martens Grove Park.

In March the applicants returned with a scaled down version of the plans, but councillors were still unhappy and deferred a decision.

Last week, the applicants returned with further changes which were still not enough to satisfy residents and nearly half of the planning committee members.

Resident Philip Denyer told the meeting residents were not against the concept of a care home but opposed a three-storey building so close to the site boundaries.

He said the proposed home would still be a major presence on the skyline.

While some committee members agreed, Councillor John Eastaugh said they were giving residents false hope.

He added: “We can only go so far before the applicants win on appeal and I think that point has come.”