A major extension to an Armagh care home facing closure a year ago is due to be recommended for approval, Armagh I can reveal.
The plans were brought forward in August by the new owners of Hamilton Court Care Home, on the Hamiltonsbawn Road.
Last year residents were facing the real prospect of their home closing.
But a new owner was not only secured, but proceeded to draw up plans to invest in the facility, a proposed development costing in the region of £200,000.
The sale to the County Tyrone-based Sanville Home was finalised in February past, bringing to an end weeks of uncertainty for all associated with the former Four Seasons home.
The home consists of 36 bedrooms.
As we revealed, a planning application to add a further four bedrooms was lodged for consideration with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in August.
Proposals also included a day room and dining room being extended, as well as an additional day room being builtl to accommodate residents’ needs.
Additional parking was also planned.
The plans have been under consideration and some concerns had been raised by Transport NI in relation to parking.
But an informal parking survey has been completed and Transport NI has confirmed it is satisfied with the results.
In all, a total of 23 car parking spaces are to be provided – an increase of seven on what was initially included in the proposals.
Environmental health officials have also been consulted on the plans and confirmed that they have no objections.
To that end, planning officials at ABC Council are poised to recommend to councillors that the Hamilton Court extension be allowed to proceed.
It will of course be up to councillors to make that final decision.
Residents and their families and staff had been left devastated by the news of the impending closure a year ago, and a high-profile and well-orchestrated public campaign was launched to ‘Save Hamilton Court’.
An online petition and protest with placards outside the home was staged.
Now, a year later, instead of facing the closure of their home, residents and staff should be seeing a major investment in the future of Hamilton Court.