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Famous Grouse in Loughgall to be given new lease of life five years after closure

The former Famous Grouse bar and restaurant at Loughgall is to be given a new lease of life, Armagh I can reveal.

Just weeks after the property was once again advertised for sale and we can reveal proposals have now been drawn up to redevelop the site as a care home.

It is five years since the property – on the Ballyhegan Road – was advertised for sale as a going concern, with an asking price close to £600,000.

It went on the market then after more than a quarter of a century as a popular port of call and one of Co Armagh’s most sought after and renowned wedding venues.

It was advertised for sale again earlier this month at a fraction of that cost – a cool £299,995.

Now a local care provider has submitted plans which would secure a future for the one-storey building.

Ann’s Home Care, which is based on the Annaghmore Road in Portadown, has set its sights on a new 10-bedroom residential care facility.

It has this week submitted proposals to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council seeking a change of use to allow the development to proceed.

The Famous Grouse property includes a bar, lounge and large conference and function room, as well as spacious restaurant.

The property also has a lower ground floor largely used for storage.

The intention is to use this for overnight staff accommodation, as well as linen storage, laundry and sluice room.

The ground floor itself would then form the basis of the accommodation.

It would consist of 10 bedrooms, each of which would come en suite with a shower. A separate ‘assisted’ bathroom is also provided on this level.

Other features include the provision of a quiet/sensory room and a visitors room.

The manager’s office will be located off the main lobby and, as expected, a drug store and nurses station are at hand.

There would be a dining room and kitchen, as well as day room for residents’ use. There would be an additional staff room with locker room and changing accommodation.

The expansive site allows for substantial car parking facilities next to the home.

And outside there would be landscaping too with new trees and hedgerows to be planted.

Residents would also have access to their own vegetable plots and animal pens if the proposals are allowed to proceed.

For the applicant, 2019 marks 25 years in operation for the care provider, which was founded in 1994 by Ann and Pat McQuade.

According to Ann’s Home Care, it has, throughout that time, played a key role in fulfilling the wishes of hundreds of clients across the Southern Trust by enabling them to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.

Ann’s Home Care works to “improving the quality of life of our clients and working closely with their families and healthcare providers to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable in the familiar surroundings of their home”.

This new proposal would allow the Portadown-based operator to open a new residential care facility after this milestone year.

The application for the change of use is being publicly advertised this week with a decision expected within the next number of months.

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