New homes for affordable rent planned for former Perth care home site

New homes for affordable rent planned for former Perth care home site

A plan to build 40 new houses for affordable rent on the site of a former Perth care home is to be discussed by councillors next week.

Members of the Housing and Social Wellbeing Committee will hear that a review of the site at Beechgrove House has found that using the land for affordable housing is the most favourable option available.

Perth & Kinross Integration Joint Board directed the council to close Beechgrove as a care home in March 2018, following a decision to reduce the level of internally provided care homes for older people in line with a strategic needs assessment.

Approval for demolition and redevelopment of the site was completed in early 2020, but the onset of the Covid pandemic resulted in a decision to keep the building operation to allow Health and Social Care Partnership staff to provide clinical services on site during the pandemic for a temporary period.

A subsequent motion to Full Council asked council officers to carry out a full and detailed options appraisal around the future use of the building and site for health and social care use, or for new housing.

A report to be considered by the Committee on Wednesday 29th November says that following the appraisal and a feasibility study, the preferred and most cost-effective option is to demolish the existing building and construct 40 new homes for affordable rent on the site, with a focus on providing housing suitable for older people.

The Committee will be asked to approve the appointment of a design team to progress the project to build the new homes.

If the option is approved, the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Care and Treatment Service currently provided from the building will be relocated to suitable premises in Perth, so that these essential services can continue uninterrupted.

Committee vice convener, Councillor Sheila McCole, said: “One of our highest priorities is to provide additional, affordable and high-quality housing for local people right across Perth and Kinross.

“The Beechgrove site would provide us with 40 brand new energy-efficient and high-spec homes for our tenants. The housing would be a mix of social council rent and mid-market rent, with a focus on the needs of older people. This will include wheelchair accessible housing and homes that are easily adaptable to people’s needs as they grow older.

“The development would also allow some tenants to downsize from large and unsuitable accommodation, which will help to free up housing for other tenants.

“As the elected member who brought the motion to Full Council asking for the future use of the Beechgrove site to be appraised, I am delighted that we now have an opportunity to progress this ambitious plan to provide much-needed new housing for older tenants and people with specific housing needs.”

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