WHITBY’S old Magistrates’ Court could soon be transformed into a 47 bed old people’s home.
A firm of architects is already consulting with households in the town’s Waterstead Lane area about what they think of the proposed development which it says would create 35 to 40 full and part-time jobs.
The home will be managed by Willow Park Healthcare Limited who are currently completing construction of their first home in Pontefract and will operate a small group of homes in Yorkshire.
Alston Murphy Associates Ltd, based in Newcastle, will be submitting their planning application in due course for the care home for the elderly.
They are also seeking comments on the plans for a two storey, 47 bedroom care home on the site next to the town’s ambulance station.
Last year, the Whitby Gazette reported how Whitby Town Council had made a six figure bid to buy the building following a controversial meeting held behind closed doors but it was unsuccessful.
Alston Murphy say the new care home would be constructed in a traditional style with red facing brickwork and a red concrete pantile roof to match the surrounding buildings with some accommodation in the basement.
There will be eight parking spaces including two disabled spaces and a separate layby to the east side of the development for deliveries and refuse collection.
Iain Murphy from Alston Murphy Associates Ltd told the Whitby Gazette the home will provide “first class accommodation for residents.”
All rooms will be single with full en-suite facilities and some with walk in showers, various living spaces, a small cafe area for residents as well as a beauty salon, small cinema and a multi-activity room.
He said: “The home will be extremely energy efficient and hopefully become an important building within the community.
“The building is set within landscaped gardens and existing protected trees will remain unaffected and the landscaping will provide new additional trees as part of the landscape scheme, which we feel will visually enhance the site.
“Car parking numbers are well known to have low vehicular usage and the majority of the staff will be carers from the local immediate area. The site is well placed for access to the buses on Prospect Hill. They serve the local community and there is no specific visiting times.
“Shift patterns will take account of school drop off and collection times to avoid unnecessary conflict or create any additional unnecessary traffic movement
“We have spoken to many of the neighbours already and are happy to arrange to meet neighbours and discuss the scheme in more depth at a local venue.
“We are fully aware that any change, like this development creates concerns and we have confirmed our willingness to look at those concerns and wherever possible amend the scheme.”
One Waterstead Crescent resident who asked not be named told the Whitby Gazette quite a few people are in favour of the former court house becoming an old people’s home.
But she expressed concerns over the number of parking spaces.
“There has been speculation about the site for a long time and we all thought the site would go for housing,” she said. “I think an old people’s home will be alright.
“I don’t think there is enough parking included in the plans. We don’t want people parking on the street, the road isn’t wide enough.”