DERBYSHIRE: Site chosen for new £15 million care home

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The proposed site for a new £15 million care home in Cotmanhay, Ilkeston, has been chosen by the county council.

In February, Derbyshire County Council approved plans to keep Hazelwood Home for Older People in Skeavingtons Lane open until a replacement was built in the surrounding area.

The location put forward by council officers, seeking approval at cabinet on Thursday, April 26, is half a mile away at a former school site in Bennerley Avenue.

A new location is being sought due to the cost of essential repairs at the current site – in the region of £3 million, with the total council budget for maintenance at all its 22 homes standing at only £4 million.

Officers state that any new development, including how to fund construction and the process of gaining planning approval, would lead to further talks with residents at Hazelwood and their relatives.

The site, close to the Cotmanhay and Ilkeston Adult Community Education Centre, would cater for a 40-bedroom care home.

Officers say that “if the need arose” the scheme, which would cost £15 million to build, could be extended to provide more bedrooms in the future.

Councillors on the ruling Tory cabinet are being asked to approve plans to seek a design team to put together proposals for the site.

These architectural services are “likely” to cost the council more than half a million pounds.

The council aims to consult with Hazelwood residents and their relatives in September, and submit a planning application in October.

It aims to start construction in December 2019 and finish by spring 2021.

In a report for councillors, officers wrote: “A potential site which is in Council ownership has now been identified at Bennerley Avenue, Cotmanhay, and an initial feasibility study has confirmed that it has the capacity to accommodate Adult Care’s requirements for a 40 bedroom home to provide a mix of care and nursing in accordance with Stirling University dementia design standards.

“The site has potential for additional accommodation for complimentary strategic uses if required, and could potentially accommodate a larger care home facility if the need arose at a future date.

“It is therefore requested that authority is granted to procure a design team to work on a design for a 40-bedroomed care home, with an option to design other additional elements on the Bennerley site at a future date if the need arises.

“Any further development at the site will be the subject of a further cabinet report and subject to the outcome of appropriate consultation.”

To keep the project on track with these deadlines, council officers have asked for decisions on the “economically advantageous” contracts for the scheme’s architects and cost consultants to be given to the strategic director of adult care, Joy Hollister.

Original estimates put repairs to the home in Skeavingtons Lane at almost £1.7m with a further £489,000 in lost income during the two year programme. The authority says that this was found to have grown to £3 million after talks with independent experts.

An independent structural engineer has advised the authority 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.

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service