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.
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.
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.