Care home application at car park

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A NEW care home could be built on Whitley Bay seafront if plans are approved.

An application has been submitted to North Tyneside Council by Helen McArdle Care to build the 65-bedroom facility on Eastbourne Gardens car park on The Links.

The plans, lodged with the council last month, are currently out for public consultation, which is expected to finish at the end of November.

The site was sold to Helen McArdle Care earlier this year by the local authority.

And its proposals are for a four-storey facility featuring 65-bedrooms on the first three floors, and three one-bedroom apartments, a cinema, hairdressers, staff facilities and laundry room in the loft space.

There would also be a kitchen, restaurant and lounges on the ground floor.

The planning application states the area would include landscaped gardens featuring sensory plants, raised planters and a water feature.

In a design statement submitted by the applicant HMC Land Ltd, it said: “Helen McArdle Care acquired the site with a view to establishing a flagship property within its organisation.

“The proposal seeks to provide for a wider clientele on what is considered one of the best locations in the north east.”

It added: “The block has been designed to avoid overlooking adjacent properties and be sympathetic to its surroundings in terms of scale, massing and building heights.

“This is a good location for a care home and its construction will provide both temporary and permanent jobs.

“It is very much a building for the community and will utilise local suppliers and gain the majority of its staff from local communities.

“The vitality and viability of the area will be improved as a result of the proposed development.

“The proposed development does not distract from the character of the area.”

And if the plans are approved, it could lead to two care facilities within the space of a few hundred metres of each other as an assisted care facility has been earmarked for land at the Spanish City site as part of the proposals being drawn up by preferred developer Robertson North East.

Andy McLeod, managing director of Robertson North East, said: “We’ve known all along that site was sold by the council and that there was always plans for some form of care facility there.

“We are aware of this scheme and our care provider don’t feel there is a conflict of the two and it won’t stop our plans.”