CONSTRUCTION workers will start building a new £12 million specialist care home in Peterborough by the end of the year.
Care provider PJ Care hopes to open its 107-bed, neurological care home on the Oak Tree site, in Bretton Way, Bretton, Peterborough, in Spring 2012.
As well as providing specialist treatment to hundreds of patients, the home should also create up to 180 new jobs for the city.
The green light for the work to start was given by Peterborough City Council’s planning and environmental protection committee which voted in favour of the plans unanimously yesterday.
Chief executive of PJ Care Paul Moran said: “We are delighted with the decision of the committee.
“We hope to be able to start the development by the end of the year, if possible.
“It could be the start of next year but we are due to have it open by Spring 2012.”
He also told the committee that he hoped more than 90 per cent of the people working at the home would be employed from the Peterborough area.
The care home will be built on a 1.32 hectare site which previously had been earmarked for employment use by the council within its Local Plan.
It had also been suggested as a potential site for new houses as part of the council’s Site Allocations Document.
But the council’s planning delivery manager, Nick Harding, speaking at yesterday’s meeting, said: “There’s been no suggestion of the site being used solely for employment for many years.
“We’re happy with this use for the site.”
The home, which would be one of only three in the country, will consist of four independent units along with a therapy centre including a physiotherapy gym and a hydrotherapy pool.
Andy Ryley of the PRC Group, which is PJ Care’s planning agent, said the building would be designed to a standard that would make the people of the city proud.
Fears had been raised by the Milton Estate that the height of the building would detract from the visual appearance of the open countryside and Milton Park, which sits at the back of the site.
But Mr Ryley said: “It provides a very positive frontage to the Bretton Way, particularly with the oak tree visible at the front.
“The site is surrounded by countryside to the west and there will be no physical impact to that.”
Committee councillor Peter Hiller said: “It gives me the impression of a small village, which I like very much.”
For more information about the home and the jobs, visit www.pjcare.co.uk