A CARE home controversially closed after Government cuts could re-open as a £6m health complex and housing for older people.
That’s the vision many living in Lanchester, County Durham, had been hoping for, wanting the land to be a handed over for community use when the axe finally fell on the care home in 2010.
Despite staunch opposition from residents and families, Lynwood House was one of seven doomed Durham County Council-run homes closed due to a lack of central government funding.
But now plans to turn the site into a GP surgery, community hub with cafe and sheltered housing has sparked concerns around parking chaos and risk of flooding.
A report on the planning application, due to go before the council’s planning committee next Thursday, details the concerns of group the Lanchester Partnership adding: “Flooding in Lanchester village was a result of the pub car park wall collapsing which prevented flooding downstream. When this is repaired, the next weakest point is the application site.”
However, developers Derwentside Homes and Trinity Medical Properties Ltd have given assurances that the housing and hub would be built up to 1m above the current building’s ground level to reduce risk of flooding.
Steve Melvin, director of development and property services at Derwentside Homes, said: “Lynwood House will offer much-needed accommodation for the over-55s as well as providing community facilities that will benefit the local area.
“By working with Durham County Council, local GPs and community groups, we have been able to ensure that Lynwood House will meet the needs of the local community and we are sure that, should this development get the go-ahead, there will be high demand for the properties.”
The multi-million-pound complex would be H-shaped and located off Durham Road.
Part of the development would be a GP surgery said to be vital in meeting the health needs of the community.
Currently deemed inadequate, the village’s existing Park House Surgery would relocate to the new build.
The surgery would sit alongside 33 sheltered accommodation properties for residents over 55 with 13 for sale and 20 for rent.
There would then be a community hub with cafe area, flexible meeting area and smaller meeting rooms.
Other homes forced to close their doors to residents as part of the cuts were Glendale House in Blackhall, Hackworth House in Shildon, East Green in West Auckland, Stanfield House in Stanley, Manor House in Annfield Plain and Shafto House in Newton Aycliffe.
Apart from Glendale House and Stanfield House where offers have been accepted and are with solicitors, the remaining homes have been sold off.