Construction begins on new care home in Alnwick

The site of the former bus depot where work has started on a new care home.
The site of the former bus depot where work has started on a new care home.

Building work has started on a scheme which will put the site of Alnwick’s former bus depot back into use by constructing a residential care home.

In June 2013, a planning application for the development on Lisburn Street, to be called Beech Tree House, were submitted to Northumberland County Council.

An artist's impression of Beech Tree House.

An artist's impression of Beech Tree House.

The home will accommodate general nursing, elderly mentally infirm (both residential and nursing) and young physically-disabled occupants in a three-storey building with 88 bedrooms as well as associated dining, leisure, treatment, administration and support facilities.

In December that year, the bid was turned down by members of the county council's north area planning committee, but an appeal by applicant DAV Developments, part of the Malhotra Group, was upheld in July 2014 and the application approved.

According to the decision notice, Planning Inspector Louise Crosby focused on two issues – the effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area and whether the form of accommodation would be acceptable and whether there is a need for it.

In relation to the first issue, she concluded that there are a number of different styles of architecture in the area and that a large ‘landmark’ building is needed on the site to balance the TA building across the road.

The site of the former bus depot where work has started on a new care home.

The site of the former bus depot where work has started on a new care home.

On the need, she wrote: ‘I am satisfied that going forward there will be an increased need for this form of accommodation in the county and Alnwick is one of the most sustainable towns within it and hence a good location for such a facility’.

The site had been boarded up and empty for some time, but now work has started.