£4m Arbroath care home replacement likely

A £4million Angus care home looks likely to be given the go-ahead today – despite concerns raised by residents.

Forfar-based Balhousie Care Group wants to replace a home in Monkbarns Drive, Arbroath, with a two-storey building on a neighbouring site.

The 65-bed nursing home would include a special dementia unit and would be built after a house on the site is demolished.

Angus Council planning chiefs have received six objections to the plans.

Residents concerns include parking and traffic problems while some believe the group could use the home as a drug rehabilitation centre. Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, dismissed these concerns in a report to the development standards committee which meets today.

He says the development will provide improved accommodation for residents.

The current Balhousie care home in Monkbarns Drive has 24 residents and employs 32 members of staff – numbers that will rise if the new home goes ahead.

Mr Lowson notes in his report that residents’ fears about increased traffic are not shared by the council’s roads department.

He states that 19 on-street car parking spaces would be provided – more than the council requires for a residential home of this size.

Some residents have objected on the grounds that it could be used as a drug treatment centre or to rehabilitate offenders.

Mr Lowson acknowledged: “It is a fact that the existing facility could, in theory, be used as a rehabilitation centre without any requirement for a change of use as could any similar facility in Angus.

“The applicant has indicated that the proposal is for a bespoke facility designed to deal with the care of the elderly and in particular those who have succumbed to the onset of dementia.”

He urged councillors to approve the application.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Balhousie said: “The proposed home would become the flagship of the Balhousie group. Residents would be relocated into the new accommodation as part of a phased process.

“The home would benefit from the latest innovations in construction to provide an extremely high level of comfort for residents, as well as offering the standards of excellence in residential care that is expected of the Balhousie Care Group.”