New care home to be built in Cotmanhay

Published on: Friday, 23rd February 2018

Plans for a new residential care home in Cotmanhay will be drawn up by Derbyshire County Council.  On Thursday 22nd February, the Cabinet agreed to keep Hazelwood Home for Older People open while it builds a replacement.

Officers are now looking at possible locations for a new care home in the area, including the former Bennerley School site off Cotmanhay Road which is owned by the county council.

Meanwhile, essential work will be carried out at the Skeavingtons Lane home to ensure it remains safe until residents can move in to a new building.

Members of Cabinet considered alternative options for the future of the home after hearing from residents, family, friends and staff during a public consultation.

Councillor Jean Wharmby, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to buy some time to look at new ways of supporting older people in the area.

“The quality of care offered at the home has never been in doubt but significant repairs and refurbishments are needed to bring it up to the modern-day standards that people expect and deserve.

“During our consultation it became clear that there was a huge strength of public opinion to keep Hazelwood open. We have listened to those views and have come up with an alternative solution.”

Original estimates put repairs to the home at almost £1.7m with a further £489,000 in lost income during the two year programme.

Following representations from campaigners, the county council asked independent experts for a second opinion which revealed these costs had increased to more than £3m.

Given the total the council has for repairs to all its 22 care homes is £4m, the council had to consider whether spending almost half on one was an effective use of public money.

An independent structural engineer has since advised the council that remedial work could be carried out to ensure the building is safe while alternative options are explored.

The work, costing in the region of £50,000, would include bracing the roof and replacing fire alarms and a kitchen extractor.

Councillor Wharmby added: “We are committed to keeping a council-run care home in the Cotmanhay area and work will begin immediately to find a new location, which could include the former Bennerley School site.

“Our officers will also begin drawing up proposals for the design of a new residential care home to replace Hazelwood.

“However, I’d like to reassure people that no decisions will be made without first consulting with residents.

“Hazelwood will remain open while this happens and residents and staff would be able to move in to a new home when it is built if they wish.”

Once a new site is identified, this would be the subject of a new report to Cabinet.  Any proposed development would also need planning permission.

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