The Malhotra Group is expanding its presence in the care sector after being granted permission to build a £10m residential home in Alnwick, creating around 125 new jobs.
Beech House is set to become the flagship centre opened by Prestwick Care – part of the recently-restructured Malhotra Group – when it opens on the site of the former Alnwick bus depot in 18 months.
Designed by Newcastle-based Space architects, the plans were originally thrown out last December by Northumberland County Council’s North Area Planning Committee, following an objection from the community, prompting the
That appeal has now been analysed by the Planning Inspectorate, which has given the project the green light.
Meenu Malhotra, the Malhotra Group’s founder and chairman, said: “I’m pleased that common sense has prevailed.
“Last December the planning report to the committee was recommended for approval so I was disappointed that we had to take the case to the Planning Inspectorate.
“Now I’m glad we can start work and create jobs for more than 100 people and help to drive forward the North East economy.”
Once completed Beech House will become the flagship home for the firm’s care division Prestwick Care, which already has a 10-strong estate around the North East.
The home will have 88 rooms and a range of facilities including a roof garden, hydrotherapy pool, cinema room, fitness room and a hairdessing salon.
Malhotra said: “The group has various landbanks in areas including Sunderland, Ashington, Forest Hall and Alnwick and we will start to construct this new site next year.
“It will be an 88-bed centre for those with brain injuries, dementia, continuing health care needs and EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) and nursing needs, all under one roof, and it will be a facility that’s much needed in the area.
“We bought the site some two years ago – it’s a very prominent site in two acres of woodland and was the Alnwick bus depot at one time, and now we want it to be the site of a state-of-the-art, 88-bed facility.
“It’s a £10m project and it’s going to be the flagship care facility provided by the company – it’s definitely the biggest project we have embarked upon in this sector.
“We are hoping to be on site by May 2014 and it will take 18 months to construct.”
The care home expansion is being driven by a finance deal secured with RBS bank earlier this year, which the group is using to move forward a £100m investment plan - £57m of which is being ploughed into the care division.
In July Prestwick Care opened 50-bed Brooke House, a specialist dementia residential and nursing care service, and a 54-bed care home at Melton Park, Newcastle, a home creating around 70 new jobs, will follow soon.”