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Oakhaven delays – Council admits it will be Autumn 2020 before new home is completed.

Oakhaven

We reported last week that plans to provide a new elderly persons home on the Oakhaven site in Acomb (Holgate) had run into severe difficulties.

Now a Council report has revealed that the replacement facility will not open until the autumn of 2020.

That would be nearly three years after the original target date. The report offers no explanation for the delay.

Other schemes like the upgrade to Lincoln court have overtaken the Oakhaven project.

Elderly residents were decanted out of the building in 2016.

So far no planning application for the Oakhaven site has been submitted. One is not now expected until the summer.

In 2015 we said that the Council’s poor project management record could result in delays to the project.

However, no one forecast that they would be this bad.

Oakhaven replacement plans on display this week

Last year, care company Ashley House won a contract from the City of York Council to design, build and operate an “extra care” sheltered housing complex at the site of the old Oakhaven care home on Acomb Road.

Oakhaven site

No planning application for the project – which is running over a year behind schedule – has yet been submitted but according to the Councils web site initial plans are being unveiled this week.

Drawings will be on display at Acomb Explore Library on Front Street from Thursday March 1 to Thursday, March 8.

A public event is also being on Thursday, March 1 from 4pm to 7pm at York Medical Group, 199 Acomb Road, York.

The site has been hit by controversy in recent years with the adjacent police station being threatened with closure. It was initially thought that that site would also be incorporated into the new development.

In addition, the nearby Carlton Tavern pub narrowly avoided an attempt to replace it with a new care home. That controversy is still ongoing.

The expectation for residents will be that a holistic plan for the whole neighbourhood will emerge quickly.

Oakhaven was closed by City of York Council in late 2015, as part of its plan to close authority-run homes which it says are out-of-date, and not up to modern standards.

The new “state-of-the-art” development will provide 56 apartments for older people, and will include a lounge and dining room serving hot meals.

People can also view the proposals or comment online by clicking here or via email  to OakhavenDevelopment@york.gov.uk.

The consultation is only open until 8th March

Delays in building Oakhaven care home replacement.

The Council are saying that the opening of the replacement for the Oakhaven care home on York Road will be delayed until the end of 2019 “at the earliest”.

The existing home was closed in 2015 and most recently was used as a homeless hostel.

Bed availability trends

A Council report reveals that there will still be a shortfall in residential care places for the elderly of 654 by 2020. This is slightly down on the inherited shortfall of 701.

“Extra Care” facilities – like those planned for Oakhaven – should reduce the excess of demand over supply from 330 to 9 by 2020.

The number of care beds available has remained fairly level over recent years while the number of delayed discharges from hospital (so called “bed blocking”) remains high as the winter approaches.

The report blames the Councils “partner” for the delays at Oakhaven.

“The delivery of this scheme is running later than originally planned as this procurement was launched later than anticipated due to lengthier examination of the procurement and legal options associated with the plan.

Further delays have occurred as Ashley House develop their design.

At present, we would expect completion of the building, subject to grant of planning permission, in Q3 2019 at the earliest”.

On the Lowfields Plans the report says,

“Plans for the development of a care home, health hub, homes (including bungalows and apartments for the over 55s) and public open space at Lowfield Green, in their final draft form, were the subject of further public engagement in July.

Engagement has shown support for the proposed development.

Lowfields school site is overgrown

However, there is strong objection to the development from the Save Lowfields Playing Field Action Group.

We will be ready to submit the planning application for this proposed development in September 2017.

Later in the autumn Executive will be asked to decide if we are to build the new homes ourselves or sell the land so that another developer can do so”.

NB. Opposition to the development at Lowfields centres around the houses planned for the playing field. The elderly persons accommodation proposals enjoy broad support as they are to be built on the “footprint” of the old school buildings.

Oakhaven redevelopment – contractor announced

The Council has announced that Ashley House PLC will develop and operate an Extra Care elderly persons facility which will be built on the Oakhaven site on Acomb Road.

Ashley House generally get good inspection reports for their homes.

The deal – agreed at a behind closed doors decision session – also secures for the Council nomination rights to affordable and discount sale apartments for the next  80 years.

There will be 48 one bedroomed and 8 two bedroomed homes provided on the site

Of these

Oakhaven

  • 20 will be for affordable rent,
  • 5 shared ownership,
  • 15 at market rent and
  • 16 outright sale.

The development will include a lounge, cafe/restaurant, buggy store and staff rooms plus 16 car park spaces.

The one bedroomed properties will be rented for £241 a week and the 2 bedroomed properties for £266. The target sale price for the properties is between £165000 and £195,000.

The developer will pay the Council £150,000 for the land.

If the adjacent Police station becomes available, the developer say he will provide an additional 14 apartments on that part of the site.

Further details can be found by clicking here

Carlton Tavern

Coincidentally, the owners of the nearby Carlton Tavern public house have today announced its closure. They are understood to have sold the site to “Crown Care” who will develop a similar care facility.

The Oakhaven proposals are tied up with controversial plans to develop the Lowfields school site.

At Lowfields, government officials have said that they may not be able to intervene to stop the sale and development of the playing fields “if they have not been used for over 10 years”.

York Council officials claim that Lowfields/High School pupils last used the  sports field in September 1997. In reality it was much later than that.

Meanwhile there is considerable confusion about whether the North Yorkshire police can afford to move their Acomb Police Station onto the Lowfields site, while the NHS has confirmed that no funding has been made available for the promised health centre which was also to have been built there.

A communal housing group has meanwhile announced two “public meetings” to discuss their plans for a small section of the Lowfields Site. Yorspace was allocated a site near little Tudor Road by the Councils Executive although the financial terms of any deal are not yet known. Their allocated site is not on the school playing field as such, although they apparently lobbied for the whole of the school campus to be developed (bringing them into potential conflict with the “Save Lowfields Playing Field” action group which was formed in the autumn) .

The meetings are being held on:

  • 11 March – Foxwood Community Centre, Cranfield Pl, York YO24 3HY, 3pm 
  • 15 March – Chill Cafe, 8a Front St, Acomb, York YO24 3BJ, 7pm

 

 

Oakhaven on York Road to become homeless hostel

Oakhaven

Oakhaven

The York Council has finally an admitted that the former Oakhaven elderly persons’ home will be turned into homeless person’s accommodation.

No external alterations are proposed to the building and internal changes are minimal. Currently the property has 27 bedrooms. The proposal is to change it to 10 one bed flats and 5 two bed flats.

Oakhaven has been empty – apart from some police training use – since it was closed last year.

The Council had talked euphemistically about the buildings being used to “house local families”. It turns out that the flats will replace the Ordnance Lane facility which is being demolished. Those units cater for homeless families and some individuals.  Occasionally they have housed teenagers on remand.

There are already two buildings being used to house homeless people in this part of the City (Holgate Road and Howe Hill)

Inevitably there are problems with any transient use. Noise and chaotic lifestyles do not always sit well with quieter neighbourhoods  or – in the case of the Front Street area – a recovering shopping precinct.

Most homeless families, of course, simply want to be moved a permanent home as quickly as possible. That should be the Council’s main target.

The Council’s planning committee is being recommended to approve the use of the building as a homeless hostel  for up to 18 months.

The Council has said that in 2018 it will build an extra care elderly people’s facility on the site.

The same Council department recently reneged on its promise to redevelop only 50% of the Lowfields school site

Firearms training taking place in Oakhaven former elderly persons home

Council “forgets” to mention Lowfields school site in new social care report

All residents have now been moved out of the Oakhaven elderly people’s home in York Road.  The Council says that there will be a “delay” before work starts on building a specialist Extra Care facility on the site.

A report to a meeting next week says

Bunholme "hub" layout. click to enlarge

Bunholme “hub” layout. click to enlarge

“we have closed down Oakhaven: shutting off water and gas so that all is safe (but leaving on the electricity so that the fire and security systems continue to operate) and moving out equipment for reuse elsewhere, if in reasonable condition, or for disposal.

The building will then stand empty while we procure a partner to redevelop it as an Extra Care facility. While it is empty we have offered its use as a temporary kitchen while Poppleton Road school kitchens are refurbished and for fire arms and dog training by North Yorkshire Police [no live ammunition]”.

Residents may be sceptical about just how long the site will remain derelict. The Oliver House saga dragged on for three years (and counting) while the former Lowfields school site – ideal as a location for accommodation for elderly residents because it is close to amenities – hasn’t even been put on the market yet.

Another elderly person’s home (Grove House) is being sold off.

The Council seems to be concentrating all its resource son the east of the City with the Burnholme school site set to be turned into a well-being hub. (see above right)

The Council is now consulting on the closure of Morrell House (Burton Stone Lane), Willow House (Long Close Lane), Windsor House (Ascot Way) and Woolnough House (Woolnough Ave)

York Road Oakhaven older persons home plans announced

Will be replaced with an “extra care” facility.
Oakhaven site plan - clckc to enlarge

Oakhaven site plan – click to enlarge

Following a public consultation exercise, the Council is being recommended to go ahead with the conversion of the Oakhaven care home site on York Road into an “extra care” facility.

The City is gearing up to meet an expected 50% increase in the number of residents who will be aged over 75 by 2030.

This forms part of the Council’s plan to provide, by the end of 2018, 525 new units of accommodation of which 343 will serve those with high care needs including dementia.  “225 out of date care beds will be replaced”.

Another home – Grove House on Penleys Grove Street – will also be closed. That site will be sold in order to finance the improvements at other facilities for the elderly.

A report, being considered on Thursday, acknowledges that most “extra care” facilities are located on the east of the Ouse. However it fails to recognise the demand for more accommodation for elderly people on the Lowfields school site.

Instead in a separate report the Council is being asked to develop such facilities at the Burnholme school site.

Report fails to recognise the demand to establish more accommodation for elderly people on the Lowfields school site

Report fails to recognise the need for more accommodation for elderly people on the Lowfields school site, which has been left empty and derelict by the Council for over 3 years.

On Lowfields the report says, “The use of the Lowfields site for specialist accommodation with care for older people has been the subject of previous procurement which concluded that such development was unaffordable. However, we continue to examine the use of this site to meet housing, health and care objectives”.

Which means officials have made no progress on marketing the site?

The Oakhaven replacement will provide only 50 of the 525 beds needed to satisfy demand in the City

 The papers reveal that the Council will not run the replacement facility at Oakhaven.

Instead it will seek a “partner” to fund, build and operate the extra care scheme. The Council is also relying on another private sector home being constructed at the Terry’s factory site (which received planning permission last week).

It will also sell off the Windsor House home in Ascot Way.

The consultation exercise concluded, “That 97% of questionnaire respondents agreed that bigger bedrooms, en-suite facilities, wider corridors and more social space should be key features of residential care homes. Bigger bedrooms give more social space for residents to entertain visitors, they can accommodate the resident’s own furniture and bigger rooms give staff more space in which to work and support residents, particularly where bed hoists need to be used”.

Work on the Oakhaven Extra care home is expected to start in early 2017 and may be available for occupation in May 2018.

Given the Council’s shambolic record on project management, we doubt if we will see any improvements much before the end of the decade.

Oakhaven old peoples home to be converted into extra care facility

Residents and staff at two of City of York Council’s Older People’s Homes – Grove House and Oakhaven – are being consulted on proposals to close the homes in early 2016, as part of plans to modernise accommodation for older people in the city.

There has still not been any announcement by the Council on the future of the Lowfields site.  Residents had expected to be given a redevelopment timetable over the summer.

Oakhaven

Oakhaven

The plans seek to address the needs of York’s ageing population, making the best use of York’s existing Sheltered Housing by making it more accessible for people with higher care needs, and replacing the council’s seven out-dated Older People’s Homes, with more modern accommodation. Two Older People’s Homes – Oliver House and Fordlands – closed in 2012 as part of the programme.

The council’s Executive agreed to consult on proposals to close two more Older People’s Homes as part of the next phase of the project at their meeting on 30 July. Each of the council’s seven remaining Older People’s Homes was assessed against a number of criteria, to determine which homes should be consulted on for closure first.
(more…)

Lincoln Court and the MUGA – Sport England acts

Kingsway MUGA

Sport England have issued a formal objection to the Council’s latest plans for the Lincoln Court area. As a statutory consultee they can veto any proposals which involve the loss of sports facilities. In this case, the Councils plan to demolish the adjacent Multi User Games Area (MUGA) – without providing a replacement – has triggered the objection.

Sport England had expressed concerns about Councils plans prior to the Planning Committee meeting which took place in December. Their comments at that time were ignored by Councillors.

If the Council continues to turn a blind eye to the objection, then the planning application will have to be referred to the Secretary of State for determination.

Sport England make it clear, in their representation, that they believe an alternative games facility can be provided nearby. Residents have suggested the new school playing fields or the Thanet Road sports area as possible locations.

Several of the flats at Lincoln Court are now empty.

There is a growing concern that the building, and the adjacent Windsor House, may be empty for an extended period.

Similar Council owned buildings have been left to rot in recent years (Guildhall, Ashbank, Oakhaven, Castlegate, etc.) suggesting that the Councils property management processes need to be overhauled.

In the meantime the planning application remains open for residents to record any objections that they may have.  Email planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting ref 19/00083/FULM

Haxby Hall elderly persons home plan hits buffers

Haxby Hall

The Haxby Hall home currently has a total capacity of 49 care beds. Within those 49 beds there is provision for approximately 35 residential care beds, eight beds for people living with dementia and up to six step down/short stay beds which are used interchangeably.

Services at the home are delivered by 51 staff (31.58 full time equivalents). When last inspected by the Care Quality Commission it was given a “good” rating 

It’s a year since the Council decided to pull out of Haxby Hall. The expectation was that a third party would take over the running of an enlarged, modernised home.

A feasibility study conducted in 2016 showed that a care home of up to 70 beds could be delivered on the site. One key issue for development was access to the site, which is constricted by the adjacent ambulance station. The plan for Haxby Hall was agreed by the Council on 7th December 2016.

A well attended supplier engagement event was held on 6 September 2017 to promote the opportunity and receive feedback on the proposal. Residents and their families were also consulted.

12 months later the proposal has been withdrawn from the Councils forward decision making programme. Difficulties in negotiating the new access are blamed for the project being shelved.

In January 2018 the then Director Martin Farren outlined the position

“The future of Haxby Hall is a key part of our Older Persons’ Accommodation Programme which looks to address the needs of York’s fast-growing older population by expanding and modernising care provision across the city.

“This report looks at options to safeguard the future of Haxby Hall older persons’ home and procure a provider who will deliver and operate improved, modern care facilities”.

The bids for the takeover were due to be received in September 2018. It was likely that residents would be decanted to other homes while work took place, with the new home scheduled to open in 2020.

No update has been given to any public meeting since then.

The latest delays follow problems at Oakhaven Elderly Persons home which has been empty for two years.

A facility scheduled to be provided at Burnholme is also understood to be delayed.

No detailed planning application has been submitted by the Council for the development of elderly persons facilities at the Lowfields site (although a, much more controversial, commercial housing development did get planning permission there a few months ago)

The Council is also pressing ahead with closing Windsor House which has specialised in providing support for those with dementia

All in all, we think that there is a need for some public reassurances about the timescales which now apply to the Councils Elderly Persons Strategy!