A CARE home can be built next to Greenbank Church in Clarkston following a successful appeal.

East Renfrewshire’s planning committee had rejected Morrison Community Care’s bid as councillors had concerns over parking and over-provision of care homes.

They did agree new church halls and community facilities could be created, but that work relies on funding from the sale of the land for the care home.

Morrison Community Care and the church congregation urged the Scottish Government to reconsider the application, and a reporter, Rob Huntley, has ruled the project can go ahead.

Mr Huntley has attached a condition which ensures no development can go ahead until a contract is in place to secure the construction of an extension to the church to create the new halls.

Council planners had recommended plans for the 58-bed care home on the Eaglesham Road site could be approved, but Clarkston Community Council and East Renfrewshire’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) opposed the plan.

They raised concerns over a lack of car parking, pedestrian safety and the impact on health services, and councillors decided to reject the proposal.

In total, there were 112 representations submitted to the council, with 63 objections and 49 letters of support.

The developers plan to knock down the existing church halls and caretaker’s house to build the home, which will include a terrace and garden for residents. There will be parking for 16 cars.

The reporter, appointed by Scottish Ministers, decided achieving “replacement of facilities that would be lost would overcome an impediment to the granting of planning permission”.

He said the attached condition was a “workable mechanism to prevent the demolition of the buildings accommodating the existing community facilities unless there is a tangible commitment to provision of the replacement facilities”.

In his report, Mr Huntley decided the site was an “accessible location” due to the “proximity of the range of services available at the nearby town and neighbourhood centres” and “a choice of public transport options”.

He found that figures provided by the HSCP showed “the covid pandemic clearly affected the numbers of residents accommodated in care homes”.

However, he said the data “shows a reduction in the vacancy rate of about one-third in only three months over the period January to March 2021” and concluded “the level of vacancies is likely to continue to decrease”.

On road safety concerns, he ruled there was “no clear evidence which would lead me to prefer the committee’s assertions on these matters over the specialist transport evidence provided in support of the proposed development”.

Mr Huntley also decided nearby houses would experience no unacceptable overlooking, obstruction of daylight or loss of sunlight.