Lowfields care home set to be ditched

It looks increasingly likely that the Council will abandon its attempt to find a developer who is prepared to provide and run an elderly persons care home on the Lowfields site.

Current Lowfield development plan

Part of the old school building section of the site has been reserved for the provision of a new care home since 2010.

It was announced earlier in the year that no tenders had been received for provision of the home

The Councils own resources are tied up in other projects including the Lincoln Court redevelopment (see below).

A report to a meeting next week says that the greatest demand for older people is for independent living one bedroomed flats and bungalows. Some of these are already schedule to be built at Lowfields but it seems that more may now be provided on the reserved care home site.

Such a decision would be in line with the plans announced in 2010 but it is unlikely to impress those who have been affected by the indecision of the last 10 years. .

A Council report published yesterday says,

The planning approval for the Lowfield Green development includes outline approval for an 80-bed care home. It had originally been envisioned that a care home developer would be procured to build on the site, with the Council buying 25 dementia and Nursing care beds back at the Council’s Actual Cost of Care rates.

A procurement exercise to deliver this failed to attract any compliant bids.

At a similar time, Officers were completing research with our older residents about their accommodation preferences.

This research highlights residents desire to live independently with care and support available where needed. Officers have since been working to establish how best to develop Older Persons’ Accommodation on the site, which will support those with care needs and also complement the surrounding high-quality mixed tenure accommodation.

A report is expected to be presented to the executive in spring 2020”.

Care home site

The change of approach is the latest in a series of reverses which have affected the controversial development. Residents strongly opposed building on the sports pitch at the site.

The Council responded by offering inducements including a local Police station and health centre. Neither materialised.

Plans for a “communal” housing development are also in delay.

Work on building houses on the sports pitch section of the site are expected to start in January, although its is now thought that building works, across the whole site, may continue for 5 years or longer.  

We revealed yesterday that the Council is also set to abandon its plans to build a new care home on the Oakhaven site.

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