PLANS to demolish a Winchester care home and replace it with a 60-bed specialist dementia facility are set to be decided today by Winchester’s planning committee.

The proposal for the former 20-bed Abbeygate Residential Care Home, in Quarry Road, was submitted last October, around a year after it closed down.

As previously reported, the facility was rated as ‘inadequate’ overall by the Care Quality Commission after an unannounced inspection in July 2017, and it was put into special measures.

Then run by Safequarter, it had previously been inspected in March 2016 when managers were served with requirement notices.

The CQC report stated: “The home was not clean and well maintained. A programme of maintenance was not in place to improve and maintain the home to ensure people’s safety and welfare.

“There were not always sufficient staff deployed to meet people’s needs and ensure their safety and welfare.

“Staff did not always have time to fulfil their role and were at times frustrated with the lack of clarity in their role.”

However, it went on to say “staff cared for people in a kind and empathetic way”, and “people received their medicines in a safe and effective manner”.

Speaking at the time, a Safequarter spokeswoman said the decision to close was made before the inspection.

The new plans have, however, proved controversial with residents due to the size and scale of the building, despite being amended.

St Giles Residents association told planners: “The St Giles Hill Residents Association acknowledges the changes that have been made... However this would still be a very large building, by far the largest in the area, presenting long unbroken roof lines.

“This contradicts the St Giles Hill Neighbourhood Design Statement.”

Maureen Stevens, of Quarry Road, added: “I still feel that a 60-bed care home is too large for that position. Quarry Rd is a narrow road with bad junctions and is not suited to all the extra traffic that the home will create.

“Abbey gate does need redeveloping but not to this extent.”

If approved, the new care home would be run by Brendoncare, who opened the new Otterbourne Hill care home in Otterbourne last summer, and Octopus Healthcare.

Speaking when the application was submitted, Brendoncare CEO Carole Sawyers said: “As a Winchester-based charity, Brendoncare is very pleased to have this opportunity to work with specialists, Octopus Healthcare, and to be able to re-provide the existing facility with a modern, well designed care home in Winchester.”