CEREDIGION council wants to net more than £600,000 from the open market sale of a former Penparcau care home which closed despite widespread protests in 2018, with campaigners urging councillors to ensure any sale is in the “best interests of Penparcau and its residents.”
The Bodlondeb home was closed in January 2018 following a Ceredigion council consultation the previous year which received scores of objections and sparked protests with local campaigners and residents’ families railing against the plan.
The home was initially put up for sale by the council with a £395,000 price and preferred bidders of social housing if a buyer could not be found to run it as a care home.
A sale was agreed in 2019 to provide elderly mentally infirm nursing care but that deal fell through in February 2020 reportedly over a shortfall in funding, leaving Ceredigion County Council members that month approving a plan to revoke a previous Cabinet decision to give preference to buyers providing an elderly mentally infirm nursing home.
Cabinet members also agreed in February 2020 that if an agreement is not reached with a registered social landlord in that time the site will be placed on the open market and any capital receipt ring-fenced for “investment in the capital programme for council-run residential homes”.
Little progress was then made due to the pandemic, leaving the council now inviting best offers on the open market, with the building’s future to be decided in May.
Pat Bates, the Secretary to the North Ceredigion Forum for Older Peoples Care - the group borne from the formation of the Save Bodlondeb group in 2018 - and a member of the Ceredigion committee of Hywel Dda Community Health Council, has urged councillors to get involved to ensure the building is sold to someone “in the best interests of Penparcau and nearby residents.”
“Despite all our efforts Bodlondeb residential home was closed and has remained unoccupied and unsold since, resulting in so many of our elderly and infirm being separated from their loved ones by ‘out of county’ placements,” she said.
“Bodlondeb is situated just yards from Llwyn Yr Eos school and also Penparcau children’s playground and hundreds of residential homes so the future use of the building is imperative to the wellbeing or otherwise of both residents and school children.”
Ceredigion council has set a deadline for ‘best and final offers’ for the care home - “comprising extensive buildings together with spacious grounds and parking” - of Friday, 6 May.
The council’s estates office said that the site offers “various development opportunities subject to consents”.
With offers invited on the former care home “in excess of £600,000”, bids will be opened on Saturday, 7 May, the council said.
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