Plans have been lodged with Northumberland County Council for the creation of a ‘care village’ in Wooler.
The plan involves an expansion of the Old Vicarage care home and the construction of seven new homes for older people within its extensive grounds.
A planning application has been submitted by Simon Fitton and includes a series of artist’s impressions by Northpoint Architects for People First Care Ltd.
It is planned to add six bedrooms, lift and laundry facilities to the Grade II listed care home, which already has 17 bedrooms.
The seven detached dwellings would be designed for independent living and restricted to over 55s.
A separate application is envisaged for phase two of the plans which involve the construction of new extra care apartments with shared ancillary facilities to benefit residents as well as the wider community.
An accompanying report by Adam Graham of Northpoint states: ‘There is an increasing ageing population in the UK in general which includes Wooler and the surrounding area.
‘The future will inevitably see an increasing demand for suitable residential accommodation, support and care for the elderly population.
‘The scheme proposes a ‘care village’ concept which caters for residents who are still able to live independently but may wish to have the convenience and comfort of on-site support if required, through to those with high-dependency needs requiring more intensive care and support.
‘The proposed development is sympathetic in scale and will have minimal visual impact on the surrounding area.
‘The community facilities proposed in phase two will provide a positive contribution to the town and ease the inevitable future demand for retirement housing.’
Wooler Parish Council is expected to discuss the application at its meeting on January 25.