'Council is to blame' for Horwich care home closure, say owners
A CARE home is to close because Bolton Council did not allow it to redevelop the premises, according to the owners.
Vale House Residential Home in Vale Avenue, Horwich, wrote to staff and relatives of residents on January 20, telling them of the planned closure in March.
Owners Legacy Care Group, which also runs care facilities in Manchester, Nelson and Halifax, is understood to be opening a replacement home in the Blackburn area.
Staff members and family are annoyed that more time was not given to find alternative accommodation for the 15 elderly residents, many of whom have dementia.
In 2011, Vale House applied for permission to build a new 41-bed facility in place of the existing care home, but Bolton Council rejected the initial application and an independent planning inspector turned down a subsequent appeal.
Horwich town councillors also recommended the plan be refused, citing concerns over the building’s size, parking provision and the loss of a 19th century building.
A Vale House spokesman said: “The home will be closing on March 4. It is simply no longer a profitable enterprise, with Bolton Council having refused us permission to extend the home and upgrade facilities.”
A staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “If the owner had been able to build the home up he probably would have stayed. A few jobs in Bolton have been lost because of this.
“It came completely out of the blue. We have been here a long time.
“It is very upsetting for the residents. One or two of them are not in the best of health at all, so this will be a huge upheaval for them.”
The daughter of a resident, who also asked not to be named, said: “We feel very shocked that it is closing so soon.
“There are not that many care homes in Bolton, so it will be tough for us and we’ve not got long to find somewhere else.”
The Vale House building is now up for sale.
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The council received 45 letters of objection and a petition against the plans and the planning committee refused the application.
“The home appealed and in 2012 an independent planning inspector looked at it again and upheld the original decision.”
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