Transport planners raise objection to proposed care home in Perth

Transport planners have raised an objection to a developer’s application to create a new care home in Perth over concerns the designs do not provide enough spaces for cars. Development company Westerwood wants to build a 77-bed facility on a site that was formerly occupied by a hospital off the A85 Dundee Road, close to the River Tay. Consultants acting for the company have told Perth and Kinross Council they intend to create 24 dedicated car parking spaces plus a drop-off zone near the main building entrance.

But the council’s transport planning team have said the facility should have an “absolute minimum” of 31 spaces and will object to the proposal being passed until the designs are changed. Transport planning officer Mike Lee has said of the proposal: “The provision of 24 parking spaces is inadequate for the proposed development. As stated in the [supporting documents] the required provision should be 59 spaces.

“It is my opinion that the supporting information does not show sufficient evidence that such a drastic loss of parking will be workable. “Improvements to the bus stop incorporating a staff travel plan and managing staff use of the car park are commendable and will certainly reduce potential issues. “However, I feel an absolute minimum of 31 parking bays should be provided at this location (21 visitor, two disabled and eight staff).

“Insofar as the roads matters are concerned I object to this proposal until the matter of parking provision has been resolved.” Scottish Water has also raised an objection to the proposal being passed as its staff reckon a sewer runs right underneath the site and the development comes into “direct conflict” with it. Gregor Campbell of Scottish Water’s development enablement team has told PKC: “The standoff distance for these assets is three to six metres (dependent on depth) in every direction on the horizontal plane.

“No building or other obstruction should be located within the standoff distance of a sewer. The standoff distance includes private gardens and sustainable drainage systems. “The proposed care home is in direct conflict with these assets [and] as such the proposals are unacceptable to Scottish Water.”

Meanwhile the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership (PKHSCP) has pointed out the region already has 43 functioning care homes at the moment with another one nearing completion in the city centre. In a position statement on the proposal, the PKHSCP said: “With 43 care homes in Perth and Kinross, it should be noted that there is currently no shortage of care home beds in Perth and Kinross and further beds are to become available with the opening of another care home in the city. “Our strategic ambition, aligned to Scottish Government policy, is to support people for home as long as possible and we are investing in a range of community services in support of this.

“Notwithstanding the demographic challenges we are facing, this should reduce or delay the need for people to move into care homes and the demand for provision locally. “It should also be noted that COVID-19 has impacted on the care home sector locally and nationally and as such we have reduced numbers living in care homes and a reduction in the number of people willing to live within them. “This may have a bearing on demand and on the sustainability of the current market provision.”

The application awaits further scrutiny from PKC planners.