Plans to create a multi-million-pound “urban care community” in Perth have been given a significant boost.
During a public consultation exercise, local residents voiced their support for the ambitious proposals by Balhousie Care Group.
It hopes to transform the derelict site on Isla Road, formerly occupied by the Tayside Nursing Home, into a retirement development.
The public exhibition, which was attended by 76 local residents, was held at St Matthew’s Church by Balhousie Care Group and developer McCarthy and Stone, with representatives on hand to answer any questions.
It showcased the detailed plans, including artistic impressions and architectural drawings, to develop the site into a 60-bed care home and Later Living Development with 52 apartments, which will be a mix of one and two-bedroom properties, as well as shared facilities, landscaping, guest accommodation and 24-hour security.
Feedback forms collected during the event showed a 100% approval rate for the proposals, as well as revealing that 91% of those who responded felt there was a need for more retirement accommodation in Perth.
Director of property at Balhousie Care Group, Scott Whittet, said: “We’re committed to engaging with the local community and were pleased to receive such a good turnout.
“The amended proposal will allow for a much better mix of housing and care options for local older people.”
Although planning consent was granted earlier this year for two 60-bed buildings, a training and administration centre, assisted living units and three mainstream houses, the current economic climate forced the firm to go back to the drawing board.
It has now altered the plans, replacing one of the care homes with retirement apartments, which are specifically designed for the needs of pensioners.
The group, Scotland’s largest independent care home operator, believes the changes will provide greater choice of accommodation for older people in Perth.
Managing director of McCarthy and Stone, Steve Wiseman, added: “Our Later Living developments allow people to retain their independence while living in an apartment designed to meet their needs in later life.
“The local community were very positive about the amended proposal and we look forward to working with Balhousie to take this planning application forward.”
Both firms will now review the feedback and comments received from the community consultation. This will be considered in preparing the amendment to the planning application, which is due to be submitted next month.
It is hoped that, if these latest plans are approved, around 150 jobs could be created in Perth, as well as rejuvenating a site that has long been an eyesore.
Over the last few weeks, contractors have been working at Isla Road and have torn down the existing building, which is known to many residents as the offices of the insurance company General Accident, before being converted into the Tayside Nursing Home in 1997.
The home closed at the end of 2009, following a negative Care Commission report, and the site lay empty for over a year, until being bought by Balhousie Care Group in 2011.
For further information on the proposed amendment, contact the dedicated Freephone information line on 0800 088 4322, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.