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was closed by City of York Council in late 2015, as part of its plan to close authority-run homes which it says are out-of-date, and not up to modern standards.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

No takers for Care Home contract at Lowfields

Care home site

According to a notice published earlier today, the York Council has received
no suitable tenders for the provision of a care home at its Lowfields site.

The Council has already invested heavily in providing infrastructure,
including roads, at the site. They promised a 30-month building timetable in  response to concerns expressed by residents in 2016 who feared that the nuisance caused by building works could drag on for a decade.

The failure to find a development partner for the care home, together with
delays on the communal housing section, means that there is no end in sight for the development work.

The delay  notice says, ” This item has been withdrawn because, following a tender process, officers have been unable to appoint a developer. Officers need to consult the market and consider the options before the Executive can make a decision”.

According to the Councils Elderly Care programme, which was last discussed in 2018, work on building the care home was due to start next month. Officials at that they said that they were confident on getting a good deal for the site following “soft market” testing. 

Now a delay on the start of building work on the home of over 12 months  seems inevitable.

There have been similar delays at Oakhaven on York Road where work is now over 3 years behind schedule.

Delays also dog the Haxby Hall redevelopment site on the other side of the
City.

Despite the delays in providing new care homes, existing facilities have
been closed. Some like Willow House next to the Bar walls remain empty.

Ironically, the original plan to provide a, mainly private sector funded,
care village on the site of the Lowfield’s school had been developed in 2010 to the point where work was scheduled to start. The scheme was shelved by the incoming Labour Council and 9 years later there is little to show but some “roads to nowhere” and large spoil heaps.

The site is now has little security. It is attracting children who want to play
on the dangerous spoil heaps.

The football pitches have long gone so alternative children’s play facilities
are non existent.

Even the Kingsway multi user games area has been turned into a building
compound for another development..

Lowfields plans in 2016

Work starts on Burnholme elderly persons accommodation

Work has stared on building a new 80 bed care home at the Burnholme site.

When completed, the Council will have the right to fill 25 of the beds

A lot of building work going on at Burnholme

Work is also proceeding on renovating sports facilities on the Burnholme site. A new library complex has already opened.

The care home being built on the Fordlands Road site (by Octopus Health care) will be completed in the summer of 2020. A site for another home has been reserved in the new York Central development.

The progress being made on these sites contrasts with other projects aimed at addressing the needs of the City’s increasing elderly population on the west of the City.

Tenders are only now being sought for the long awaited elderly persons facility on the Lowfields site. Other specialist homes on the west of the City, such as Windsor House and Lincoln Court have already been cleared of their elderly occupants.

One embarrassment for the Council, is the elderly persons home at Oakhaven. Residents were controversially moved from this building 3 years ago.

Despite some temporary uses, the building has remained largely unused ever since.

The Council has not been able to say when work on a replacement will start.

The Council says that it will start building houses at Lowfield this summer. Many will be “shared ownership” although there seems to have been little research done on the size of the market – among those on the waiting list – for this type of tenure.

There is, however, a lot of demand from older people – currently occupying large council and housing association houses – who want to “downsize” to bungalows or flats.

Work has started on constructing the Tudor Road access onto the Lowfields site. A new lay-by has been provided nearby.

While we remain critical of the Councils plan to build on the playing field at Lowfield, it also now seems that they may have got the mix of home types wrong.

There should have been more bungalows.

The issue of the Yorspace” communal housing development – which is not classified as “affordable” – has also still not been resolved.