Dumfries children’s unit plans move closer

A new residential children’s unit in Dumfries has moved closer after a potential site was identified and a planning application lodged.

Council officers said the Hardthorn Road project was now at pre-tender stage despite being delayed due to the “extended consultation process”.

Plans for a similar unit in Cairnryan were approved earlier this year.

Dumfries and Galloway Council said it needed the facilities to help reduce the amount of out-of-region care.

A report to its social work committee said that the budget for children being placed outwith local authority facilities had been “under severe pressure for many years”.

Finance of more than £1.8m has already been allocated for the construction of units in the Dumfries and Stranraer area.

A site in Cairnryan was given approval in April, despite concerns about the suitability of the village location.

Now plans have been submitted for the Dumfries facility.

Council officers have admitted that it is not possible to give a definitive start date for works on the unit.

However, they said target dates and budget costs would be updated as soon as “planning classification issues” were resolved.