A MAJOR overhaul and expansion is on the cards for the Woodcote Grove House care home.
Friends of the Elderly wants to knock down the Selkirk Wing of the home, in Meadow Hill, Coulsdon, and replace it with a nursing and dementia home.
The development would create 48 care beds and three respite beds - an increase of 31 beds on the old wing, which is not fit for purpose.
Nick Pryor, a consultant from JTS planning, said: "The Selkirk wing was built in the early 1950s so you can imagine 60 years ago it was built to the standards of the time.
"It does not meet current care standards and is nearly empty."
The charity Friends of the Elderly is preparing to submit a full planning application to Sutton Council (the site borders Croydon and Sutton), and held a public viewing of the plans at Woodcote Park Golf Club on Monday afternoon.
The development is on green belt land, set back from the road, and would take the home's overall area from 2,000 square metres to 2,700 square metres.
Mr Pryor said that the consultants have held discussions with the council and hope the project's "special circumstances" will let them expand on green belt land.
He added: "I have to say, in my 35 years of dealing with planning policy, this is one of the strongest I have had to deal with. They are very persuasive and powerful special circumstances: increasing need for dementia care.
"There is a quantitative and qualitative shortfall of nursing and dementia care, and this will build on the established care facility."
The new wing is expected to employ roughly 69 full- and part-time staff, adding to the 79 who already work at the home.
Richard Furze, chief executive of Friends of the Elderly, said the development was critical to the long-term success of the home.
He added: "It is a really important development for us.
"All the people who have been in our homes have been very supportive.
"Clearly they see the need for people with dementia to have really good care.
"It is great if they can stay at home for as long as possible, but there comes a point where the carer may not be able to cope as they feel too stressed."
The developers said they hoped to secure planning permission by spring.