Plans for a state of the art residential and nursing care home in Fortrose have been announced.
Parklands Group, one of the largest independent care home providers in the north of Scotland, has submitted plans to The Highland Council for a £3.5 million care home for the elderly.
The company has also submitted plans to extend two existing care homes in Muir of Ord and Tain in response to growing demand.
The new Fortrose facility will feature 40 en-suite bedrooms, a day room, dining room, coffee shop and hairdressing salon. The home will also feature a landscaped garden with views overlooking the Moray Firth.
If approved, the new care home – proposed for a site on Ness Road - could open by the end of 2016, providing much needed elderly care capacity for the town.
The facility will be modelled on Parklands’ modern care homes in Tain and Muir of Ord, opened to widespread acclaim last year. As well as residential care, the new facility will provide respite and convalescence care.
Rooms in the new home will be significantly larger than the minimum standard set down by the National Care Standards.
Around 50 jobs full time equivalent jobs will be created in the Fortrose area as a result of the investment, with many more supported in the construction phase.
Ron Taylor, Managing Director of Parklands, said: “This is an exciting development for Fortrose that will provide valuable jobs and create a much needed community facility for the town. It is clear that with a large and growing elderly population, Fortrose lacks sufficient care capacity, particularly following the closure earlier this year of Marine House. Unless additional capacity is provided, elderly people will increasingly have to move away from the area to receive the care they need. That would be bad for families and bad for local communities.
“A state of the art, purpose built facility would meet the demand for residential care, while the provision of respite and convalescence care would also reduce pressure on the NHS, allowing local hospitals to free up beds.
“We appreciate there may be some concern around the chosen site because it is not zoned for development. We have considered a number of alternative sites but none are suitable for this type of facility. We believe the site on Ness Road is the only viable location and it is the only site we wish to develop.
“We look forward to engaging with the local community to help bring this ambitious proposal forward.”
Meanwhile, Parklands has responded to soaring demand for their Muir of Ord and Tain care homes with proposals to build an additional six rooms at each facility, at a cost of £750,000. Work on the extensions could start as soon as next month.
Mr Taylor added: “Our new care homes in Muir of Ord and Tain have been well received by residents and by the local community and demand has soared since they opened last summer, with lengthy waiting lists for both homes. Understandably, elderly people in these areas want to live close to their friends and family in the communities they know and love. This investment will help meet some of this demand but it is becoming increasingly obvious that additional care capacity is needed across the region.”
A public exhibition detailing the investment plans will be held in the coming weeks. Further details will be announced shortly.