PLANS to build a four-storey care home next to Hermitage Park in Helensburgh have sparked objections from people living nearby.

Almost 20 members of the public have contacted Argyll and Bute Council to lodge official objections to Simply UK’s plans for a former local authority depot on Sinclair Street, next to the town centre park.

The planned facility would include bars and a beauty salon, but residents submitting responses to Argyll and Bute Council’s website have concerns about access arrangements along with hedge and tree boundaries.

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Richard Cullen said: “I and a number of other residents have consulted our title deeds and plans, and I wish to advise you that the hedges and trees running along the back of the terrace, bordering the grassed rear entry lane and forming the northern border of the depot site, is the property of the residents of Prince Albert Terrace, and does not constitute any part of the development site.

“As such, we would expect that any development maintains the integrity of the hedge and trees and has no impact on the border of our properties.”

Christopher Packard, a former chairman of the Friends of Hermitage Park, also submitted an objection on behalf of Patricia Robertson, who lives in retirement accommodation run by Bield Housing at Birch Cottages on Sinclair Street.

Mr Packard said: “Mrs Robertson is concerned about access to and from Birch Cottages as there are certain areas lacking clarity on the drawings submitted.

“The track to the east of Birch Cottages currently gives access directly to Hermitage Park via the gate outside her house.”

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Mrs Robertson added: “This access appears to have been denied at the southern end and my right of way shut off.

“I am a disabled person with limited mobility and this access is very important to me.

“I am also concerned about access on the north side of Birch Cottages.

“The drawing supplied is unclear as to the access arrangements between the four parking lots and Birch Cottages.

“Additionally, the junction with Sinclair Street, where visibility for vehicular exit is only possible after partially blocking the cycle way, presents a serious safety hazard, especially for cyclists, with the huge increase in traffic that will arise with the new care home.”

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A planning and access statement by Simply UK at the time of the application’s submission in March said: “The new care home aims to offer superior levels of care in luxurious surroundings and will provide residents with hotel-like services such as a beauty salon, bars, top class food and round the clock care all set within a leafy and peaceful setting.

“These design proposals aim to significantly improve the use of this prominent site within the centre of Helensburgh, also bordering Hermitage Park which is currently undergoing an extensive redevelopment programme, whilst bringing much needed facilities to the town and community.

“The proposals were originally subjected to a Pre-application Enquiry by Argyll and Bute Council planning and the subsequent proposals contained within this application have taken on board the planner’s comments.

“The proposals were deemed acceptable in principle in terms of proposed site usage and general design.”

The authority is expected to deliver its verdict on the proposals by April 24, although the number of objections lodged so far makes it more likely that the application will be decided by the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee, rather than by officials.

That committee is next due to meet on Wednesday, April 17, but with that being before the determination deadline, it may not be heard until Wednesday, May 22.