A PEEBLESSHIRE care provider says a new accommodation block is the “only way” it can meet the needs of its clients.

Plans for the “purpose-built” structure on the Garvald House estate, West Linton, have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.

Garvald West Linton provides residential accommodation for adults with learning difficulties across a mix of modern and listed buildings.

And the charity is now proposing to develop a new detached residential building for six residents.

A report attached to the application states that: “The needs of the client group have changed over recent years. We now have clients with more complex needs.

“What is meant by complex needs is that alongside a cognitive impairment there are also underlying medical conditions.

“The age profile of our client is also increasing with over half of the client group now in their 50s.”

It adds: “We need to improve our accommodation to manage this ever-increasing level of need. Much of the accommodation is over two levels and, for those with mobility issues, we need to have level access accommodation.

“We also need to provide improved levels of privacy leading to the creation of en-suite facilities for each client.

“It has come into sharp focus that some of the current buildings do not meet modern standards of infection control. Examples would be the lack of staff changing facilities and the number of clients sharing toilet facilities.

“We anticipate that this will be a regulatory requirement in the near future.

“The increased level of need has seen the requirement for increased attendance space and storage of mobility equipment.”

Garvald West Linton currently provides care to 35 people with learning disabilities.

The proposed site is located away from Garvald House so as to not adversely affect the “setting, character and appearance of the B-listed building”.

The ground levels will need to be adjusted to accommodate the development, according to the report, giving an opportunity to “tuck the new building into the landscape”.

If approved, each resident will have their own flat with an en-suite bedroom, living room and kitchen.

A shared living/dining room, accessible bathroom, multi-use space, kitchen, laundry, storage space and plant room will also be provided.

A manager’s office and staff accommodation are included in the plans.