MONMOUTHSHIRE council has been asked to press on with plans to build a new residential care home for people with dementia.

A 32-bed facility providing round-the-clock care on the proposed Crick Road housing estate near Portskewett would replace the ageing Severn View home in Chepstow.

Designs show the home split into four interdependent households for eight people with “domestic homelike” interiors, with a further option to increase the number of beds to 48.

The care home could cost nearly £7 million to build with a staffing budget of around £1.3 million a year, according to proposals.

The adults select committee urged the council to consider an expansion of the scheme at a special meeting on Monday.

Pledging his “whole-hearted” support for the project, Labour councillor Roger Harris said: “If we miss this opportunity it will be a tragedy.

Councillor Roger Harris

“There are other organisations that would probably chop our hands off to get anywhere near this facility. We need to move every possible opportunity to make it a 48-bed unit.”

Julie Boothroyd, chief officer for social care in Monmouthshire, said the authority was “really keen” to explore an expanded scheme.

The meeting heard that conversations on the subject had already started with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and St David’s Hospice Care.

A £700,000 valuation for Severn View, which was built in 1979, prompted a suggestion from Cllr Harris that it was worth more.

The figure was described as “historic” by integrated service manager Colin Richings, who added: “We will have another valuation and another at the point of sale. I’m hoping it will go up.”

Outline planning permission for the care home and 291 homes at Crick Road was granted by the planning committee on November 6.

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But Conservative councillor Louise Brown raised concerns about parking capacity given plans for shared spaces between staff and visitors and residents of the estate.

“I don’t think it’s practical not to allow in the design for car parking spaces because the care home wants to be integrated within the local community,” said Cllr Brown.

“When I was a councillor in another authority, I spent years trying to negotiate with a care home for spaces because residents were being blocked in by parking around the care home.”

Head of planning Mark Hand reassured the committee that such issues would be considered when the application returns for full planning permission.

The meeting also heard that planners would also be considering a “double room” for couples within their final application.

Conservative councillor Paul Pavia noted that £4 million of the projected build cost could be covered by a grant from the Welsh Government’s integrated care fund.

He asked: “With a [first minister] leadership election and potentially a new cabinet secretary, which I anticipate happening, if there was a delay will that cause a problem?”

Mrs Boothroyd admitted that it could have an impact but said that the council was expecting a decision “imminently”.