Councillors in Guildford have approved a plan to knock a care home down for a new one.

Perseus Land and Developments and Barchester Healthcare applied to replace Ashley House, Christmas Hill, Shalford with a larger scheme of 60 en-suite bedrooms with café, hair and beauty salon, library, cinema and communal activity space.

Dominic Kay from Barchester Healthcare told the meeting he had been inside the firm’s care homes almost every day during the Covid pandemic.

He added: “The thing that was rammed home more than anything else was en-suite bathrooms. It’s virtually impossible to stop outbreaks when you are working in old, obsolete homes.

“Conversely, working in a brand new care home, you can control outbreaks. Will Covid-19 be the last time we have a flu or other type of outbreak? I very much think it won’t be the case.”

Guildford Borough Council’s planning committee approved the plan by 13 votes to three.

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