Published: 12/02/2017 07:00 - Updated: 09/02/2017 16:39

Controversial Fortrose care home proposal back in frame

Ron Taylor believes there is significant local support for the Fortrose proposal, which is set to be the subject of a fresh application.
Ron Taylor believes there is significant local support for the Fortrose proposal, which is set to be the subject of a fresh application.

FORTROSE residents are expected to be consulted next month on a fresh plan for a redesigned care home on the same controversial site.

Parklands Group was determined not to walk away from the Ness Road plot in the Black Isle village after its £3.5 million project for a 40-bed residential home for the elderly was turned down by planners last summer.

The company has revealed this week that it has come up with a new proposal for a completely new design for the home, which will be repositioned on the existing site.

Parklands intends to present its revised proposals to the community at a public drop-in session in the village, possibly as early as next month.

Parklands mentioned its amended plans for Fortrose when it revealed this week that work had started on a £1 million project to expand two of its other existing homes in Muir of Ord and Tain.

The 34-bed homes were opened in 2014 and are being extended to meet soaring demand. A single-storey extension will be added to each care home, comprising six additional bedrooms, a dining room and living room. The new extensions will be completed in July.

Parklands boss Ron Taylor said: “This investment will deliver much-needed additional care capacity for the Black Isle and Easter Ross, areas with a significant elderly population.

“With existing care capacity insufficient to meet demand, we remain committed to investing in the area to help improve care provision for the elderly.”

Discussions with Highland Council on a revised planning application for Fortrose are continuing, and Parklands hopes to make a detailed announcement soon.

Mr Taylor added: “We remain committed to Fortrose and the Black Isle and have been overwhelmed by the strong support we have received from the local community.”

Contacted for further comment, a spokesman for Parklands said it had continued to explore all options, including consideration of other sites within and outwith Fortrose.

“After a prolonged search for alternative sites, it is clear the Ness Road site remains the only practical and affordable option,” he said.

“The intention is therefore to submit a fresh application with a completely new design, repositioned on the existing site.

“These things are always a moveable feast, so I wouldn’t want to give a definitive timetable, but we might reasonably expect movement next month, both in terms of the application and drop-in sessions.

“There remains very strong interest in this proposal from prospective residents and employees and groups representing the care sector and the interests of older people..”

Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council treasurer Iain Brown told the Ross-shire Journal yesterday: “We as a community council believe strongly that there is a need for a care home on the Black Isle, but as we have said previously, not on a prohibited site.”

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