Residents’ concerns over plans to rebuild Horsham care home

JPCT 211014 S14441355x Horsham. Residents outside the existing Evelyn Lancaster House -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141021-164103001

JPCT 211014 S14441355x Horsham. Residents outside the existing Evelyn Lancaster House -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141021-164103001

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Plans to demolish a former Horsham retirement home and build a specialist dementia care facility in its place have attracted criticism from residents.

Evelyn Lancaster House, in St Mark’s Lane, closed last year and has since lain empty.

Plans are now being considered by Horsham District Council to build a ‘purpose built’ care home with 80 single bedrooms over three floors and creating 70 jobs.

In its application Care UK says the building, which is just over 20 years old, ‘falls short of modern user expectations and requirements’ and that conversion for alternative care purposes is ‘not considered to be either practical or viable’.

Residents disagree saying it would be a loss to the community.

There are also fears the new development would not offer local people affordable social housing as set out in a a covenant governing the land.

A statement from the St Mark’s Lane Residents’ Group said: “We are an aged and vulnerable community, which those very covenants were also applied to protect, and any breaking of which will cause stress and hardship to all those affected under the current proposed development.

“It is said that use of the current building is not viable. We believe that the solution to its viability has just not yet been sufficiently addressed and it is criminally wasteful to propose demolition of this yet sound building.”

There are also concerns about traffic and road safety.

Care UK did not comment before the County Times going to press.