Campaign launched to fight care home closure

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to fight plans to close an elderly care home and replace it with an extra care scheme.

The Friends of Brentwood Lodge has been formed by concerned Middleham resident Andy Brook.

Mr Brook claims that the closure of Brentwood Lodge care home, in Leyburn, and its replacement with an extra care scheme in the town’s Harmby Road will not provide people suffering from dementia with the support they need.

He believes there has been insufficient consultation on the changes, particularly the plans to sell Brentwood to Broadacres Housing Association for £200,000.

The site would then be re-developed for housing, with 40 per cent of the properties designated as affordable.

The campaign group plans to hold a public meeting on the issue, while a Facebook page set up by the group attracted 60 supporters on the first day.

Mr Brook said he planned to hand a copy of the appeal letter to William Hague when the MP chairs a meeting on rural health provision in Richmond on Friday.

He added that his aim was to appeal against the decision by Richmondshire District Council to grant planning permission for the extra care scheme.

He also wants to see a review of elderly care provision in Richmondshire carried out.

He said: “I firmly believe there are very strong grounds for appeal and if appeal is not granted the case should go to the secretary of state to be determined.

“There are a number of issues that the friends group need to question, notably the lack of full public consultation both with the residents of Brentwood Lodge and their families, including day care patients and also the residents that will surround the new proposed development and the impact it may have on their lives.”

Peter Featherstone, chief planning officer for Richmondshire District Council, said third parties cannot appeal against planning applications to the authority.

He added that they could seek a judicial review from the secretary of state, however this had to be done within a six-week period of the original decision being made, and this had now passed.

The proposed extra care scheme would include seven two-bedroom bungalows, 26 two-bedroom flats for independent living and 20 one-bedroom flats designed for dementia sufferers.

Work is due to start on new facility later this year.

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