New care home for Walker Street site

AN extra facility for pensioners will be built on the old Walker Street School site in Eastwood, it has been confirmed.

The complex, similar to a sheltered housing scheme with 24-hour care, will replace Beauvale Court Care home which was knocked down three years ago.

Plans have pleased councillors in Eastwood who have desperately wanted to see something done with the old Walker Street School site, described as an ‘eyesore’ by leader of the council David Bagshaw back in October last year.

Cllr Keith Longdon said: “It’s absolutely marvellous news.

“We get a lot of anti-social behaviour down on the Walker Street School site now so the residents living nearby will be very happy indeed I’m sure.”

But Cllr Josie Forrest said whilst she is pleased they are doing something with the land, the new site will not cater for people with Dementia and Alzheimers, as Beauvale Court did.

Cllr Forrest, who is also the treasurer of Age Concern Eastwood, said she strongly opposed Beauvale Court being bulldozed back in 2008.

“I was very against Beauvale Court going,” she said.

“They (extra care complexes) are fantastic places but they won’t take you if you’ve got Dementia and Alzheimers and Beauvale Court provided full-time care for both of those.”

A Nottinghamshire County Council spokesperson described the facility as a ‘half-way house between a care home and people living in their own property’.

Care staff will be on-site 24-hours a day to provide personal and practical support, such as dressing, washing and shopping and although no detailed plans are yet confirmed, it is thought the site could include a café, hairdressers, communal lounge and internet cafe, all also open to the public.

There will be 25 to 30 units in the complex owned by the council, but it could be much bigger with private properties for sale and rent.

Beauvale Court in Wellington Place was knocked down because of its poor state of disrepair and because it had no en-suite facilities. The council sold off its other care homes privately to save money in its budget.

Two other extra care facilities are planned for the Ashfield/Mansfield border and Retford.

Kevin Rostance, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “We have made the finances available and made the important first steps of looking to appoint a developer.

“Where they have been set up elsewhere locally and nationally, extra care facilities have been a massive success and I am confident that Eastwood and other sites in the county will be no different.”

A planning application will be submitted after a developer has been found.