Cotmanhay care home: council agree to save Hazelwood and seek new site

Hazelwood Care Home in Cotmanhay is to remain open while Derbyshire County Council makes plans for a new home in the area.
Hazelwood Care Home in Cotmanhay is to remain open while Derbyshire County Council makes plans for a new home in the area.

Derbyshire County Council is to make plans for a new residential care home in Cotmanhay, and will keep the current one open until it is built.

The authority’s cabinet met on Thursday, February 22, and formally agreed to keep Hazelwood Home for Older People on Skeavingtons Lane for the time being.

A public consultation in recent months explored the option of closing it, but officers are now looking at possible locations for a new home, including the council-owned former Bennerley School site off Cotmanhay Road.

Councillor Jean Wharmby, the 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.”

The cabinet has agreed to carry out the most essential work at Hazelwood immediately in order to extend the life of the buildings and ensure they remain safe.

That will cost around £50,000 and include bracing the roof, new fire alarms and installing a kitchen extractor.

Estimates to keep the home open in the long-term were put between £1.7million and £3m, which is why the council said it was forced to consult the public.

The temporary reprieve for Hazelwood follows a spirited campaign by residents, family, friends and staff.

Coun Wharmby said: “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.”

Once a new site is identified, it will be brought back before the cabinet, and any proposed development will also need planning permission.

Coun Wharmby added: “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.”

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