Care for older people in the borough is undergoing major changes as more people seek to stay in their own homes for longer, including in ‘extra care’ housing, and the standard of remaining care homes is raised significantly. As part of this process, Isard House has now closed, all residents having been moved to alternative accommodation. The Council’s Property Department will ensure the site is made secure, pending a decision on its future.
The Council’s intention is to place Isard House on the open market and, at that stage, to indicate a preference either for a new care home or extra-care housing. Much will depend, of course, on someone making an appropriate bid and that, in turn, will depend upon the availability of funding.
We are keeping nearby residents informed as matters progress.
Your Ward Councillors attended a meeting recently with Affinity Sutton [formerly Broomleigh] and received some details that will interest and, it is hoped, reassure residents.
A large proportion of the elderly residents had moved out of the flats into various other properties at the time of the meeting in late November. A number of those remaining are also likely to have moved out by the time you read this article. Some residents, however, have decided to stay put, so the Estate will not become empty for a while yet. In the meantime, the Estate will remain staffed, maintenance of the site, including the grounds, will continue, and lighting in the blocks will remain.
As for any redevelopment of the site, this cannot happen until planning permission is granted. No application has been submitted but it is likely that Affinity Sutton will meet Council Planning Officers in the near future for pre-application discussions. Once a formal scheme is prepared, Affinity Sutton will call a public meeting to enable anyone to raise particular concerns. The meeting is likely to be held in the Village Hall, probably some time in the Spring.
We have been heavily involved in the reaction to Broomleigh Housing Association’s (BHA) plans to redevelop the sheltered flats in Bourne Vale. BHA is seeking ultimately to demolish the flats and build a mixed residential development.
However, the initial stages of their consultation have caused much worry among existing residents and their relatives. At the time of writing, we have held meetings with residents, BHA and the Council’s housing officers to examine Broomleigh’s justification for their plans and to clarify their timescale. We share the common view view among residents that Broomleigh have not made the case for the closure of the flats.
Today saw Bob Neill M.P. visit the flats and see for himself the good sized accomodation and hear from residents directly. Bob has promised to take the issue up, alongside ourselves, with Broomleigh and their parent organisation, Affinity Sutton.