PLANS to breathe new life into a Flintshire care home have been largely welcomed by backbench councillors.

Full details of the £7.5 million project to give Marleyfield House care home in Buckley a much-needed expansion were revealed at a meeting at County Hall at Mold.

A report to health and social care overview and scrutiny committee members showed how the scheme intends to double its total accommodation capacity from 32 to 64, while also creating new jobs.

The expansion is expected to offer residents an ‘extra-care feel’ as the two-storey building will offer larger rooms, balconies for those on the upper floors, and private garden spaces for those on the ground floor.

Members were told that residents will have good views from each room as well as from the communal areas.

The new two-storey expansion is expected to be connected to the current Marleyfield House by a link building which will give all residents full access to the grounds.

Sealand councillor Christine Jones, cabinet member for social services, said: “This scheme to expand Marleyfield is wonderful and it’s a great investment of money.

“The innovative project takes a significant amount of pressure off the care system as it will help to get people out of hospital sooner.

"I’m really excited to see the plans come to life over the next few years.”

However, despite proposals showing that between 25 and 27 parking spaces will be generated through a new car park, Cllr Hilary McGuill, chair of the scrutiny committee, questioned whether it was enough.

“I’m convinced that there’s not enough car parking," she said.

"There’s never been a space on the many occasions that I’ve been there and I don’t think the stated extra 25 spaces will change that.”

But the Mynydd Isa councillor's calls for another car park to built on the other side of Marleyfield House were rebuffed on the grounds of planning issues with green space and potentially restricting emergency vehicle access.

Councillors were also told bicycle racks should alleviate some of the potential pressure on the car park.

The next stage of the £7.5m project is for a local consultation to be conducted and a public information event to be held, while discussions are ongoing with a landscape architect about the possible use of solar panels.

If all goes to plan, the newly-expanded Marleyfield House care home is expected to open its doors to people all around Flintshire in April 2021.

Neil Ayling, Flintshire Council's chief officer of social services, said: “The council is playing a leading role in bringing top quality care services to the county and the expansion of Marleyfield House will really benefit the county.”