Claims that the “vast majority” of staff who will work at a new care home in Helensburgh will not travel to work by car have been questioned by the town’s MSP.

Planning consultant Derek Scott told a public hearing on Simply UK's planning application that 25 parking spaces would be more than enough for the 64-bedroom facility – stating that Argyll and Bute Council’s roads department had been satisfied with 25 spaces for Simply UK’s initial proposal that the new development should have 75 rooms.

But Jackie Baillie MSP suggested the idea that staff at the home would not travel to work by car was not realistic.

The discussion took place during a hearing of the council's planning, protective services and licensing committee to decide on the application for the new facility on the former local authority roads depot site off Sinclair Street, next to Hermitage Park.

The committee decided by five votes to four to grant planning permission for the new development.

READ MORE: Plans for 64-bedroom Helensburgh care home are approved by councillors

Mr Scott said: “There has been considerable discussion on this. The roads department were initially satisfied with 25 parking spaces for a 75-bedroom care home.

“The vast majority of staff will not travel by car. This site is less than 100 metres from bus stops in either direction, and 560m from a train station.

“This will make it the most sustainable care home that Simply UK has, or is currently looking at.

“Simply UK’s facility in Bridge of Weir is in a considerably less sustainable location, has 18 spaces and 74 bedrooms, if that gives any comfort.”

“There will be two deliveries a week in terms of food, and one in terms of waste facilities. It is a low traffic generator.”

READ MORE: Simply UK unveils revised plans for new Helensburgh care home

But MSP Jackie Baillie, who had previously called for the plans to be refused, said: “Staff will not just be coming from the local area, but Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven as well.

“Those who have tried to use public transport from those areas will know how challenging that is. They get into cars and come here.

“They will not be just nine to five staff – they will operate 24 hours a day.

"This is a subsidiary bus route – that is the reality of what people will face. That makes car parking a real live issue.”

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