Plans to build a £9.8 million care village in Cupar are a step closer after councillors rubber-stamped the project’s business plan.
The new facility, to replace the aging Northeden House care home, will consist of a 24-bed home, 12 supported living flats, a 10-place day service facility as well as community support accommodation.
It will be built at the existing site at Bank Street.
Members of Fife Council’s policy and coordination committee supported the revised plans for the multi-purpose facility, which was originally supposed to be a straight replacement for the existing 36 bed care home.
In December it was revealed that the revised proposal would not be achievable on the hillside location and that an alternative plan should be drawn up.
Approval of the business plan also comes a month later than planned after the local authority was forced to defer discussions in January after it incorrectly claimed councillors had already been consulted, despite no such consultation having taken place.
Fiona McKay, divisional general manager at Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, told the committee that the part care-home, part independent living estate, was a plan supported by experts and regulators.
“I recognise this a new model and there will be a lot of questions and the Care Inspectorate has been fully involved,” she said.
“When we get into a position that we’ve got planning permission we will be having further discussions with it to look at the models of care.”
However, concerns were raised by Liberal Democrat councillors Tim Brett and Donald Lothian as to the reduction of respite care beds from eight to four, with one of the supported living flats earmarked as a fifth.
Responding, Ms McKay, said: “We really are at a crossroads at the moment with Covid-19 and people wanting to look at different models of respite.
“We need to recognise that this isn’t just about the carers, it’s about the needs and wants of the people who are requiring the respite and we need to talk to them about what they see as the most appropriate for them.
“This will be a whole system of looking at how we develop our respite services.
“It could be people staying at home and having wraparound care to allow carers to go on holiday. We need to look at the needs of the person cared for as well as the carer.”
John Mills, head of housing services, welcomed the care home plans, adding that the design of the Cupar facility, which is part of package of new local authority care facilities alongside those in Anstruther and Methil, had made the most of the constraints imposed by the site.
“It’s important with such proposals that we future proof these types of facilities to be able to adapt and meet future demands,” he said.
Committee members approved the business plan for the new facility.