Carebase, a south east England and East Anglia residential care provider, had hoped to build a care home and acquired brain injury (ABI) unit on the former Ruskins site in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster.
And Sharon Clay, 61, of Highland Way, Hornchurch, said the wellbeing of people suffering from brain injuries far outweighed the plans being rejected as inappropriate development of the green belt.
In February, the Recorder reported how Campbell Gibb-Stuart, 31, of Alma Avenue, Hornchurch, had suffered a brain injury after a night out.
He was in four different rehabilitation units – including near Wembley and Colchester – and his fiancee Lucy French, 32, had been forced to travel for hours to see him.
Earlier this year, Sharon’s mother, June Clay, 87, lost her balance, fell backwards, hit her head and suffered a bleed on the brain.
After receiving excellent care at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, Mrs Clay was referred to a rehab unit in north London.
“There was such a long waiting list,” she said.
“There’s things for stroke patients [in Havering], but very limited rehab facilities for people with non-stroke head injuries.
“Why should people who haven’t had a stroke be disadvantaged? It’s disgusting.
“Unless you have been involved with anything like this or have somebody affected that you’re close to, you don’t realise you’re missing it in the borough.”
Cllr Ron Ower (East Havering Residents Group, Upminster) said: “While we have sympathy that the unit would be needed, we felt that other sites would be more suitable.
“We felt that this type of facility didn’t have to be built on the green belt. It could have built on a brownfield site or that an existing block could be converted.”
Carebase property director Mike Hirsch said: “We were very disappointed by the council’s decision, there is a desperate need for quality services for the elderly in Upminster and a serious lack of brain injury units locally.
“We will consider our next steps.”