£200 million plan to rehouse the elderly

PLANS to build 1,600 apartments for elderly people as an alternative to care homes have been approved by Derbyshire County Council.

The authority’s ruling cabinet backed a £200 million investment plan on Monday, which would see 20 care homes demolished or closed over the next seven years, with only eight such homes remaining open.

Florence Shipley in Heanor could be suitable for redevelopment into a community care centre, and is one of nine homes that will be the subject of a detailed consultation from April. The Willows in Ripley, Rowthorne in Swanwick and The Glebe in Alfreton would not be affected for up to five years.

Cllr Charles Jones said: “We want everyone to have their own front door and live independently for as long as possible in five-star accommodation and surroundings. Our plans for extra care mean couples would be able to stay together and have 24/7 on site care if they need it, and there would be an excellent mix of services available for all older people in Derbyshire.

Katy Pugh, chief executive of Age Concern Derbyshire, said: “The extra care facilities seem to offer the style of accommodation and support older people want – it is a model successfully used by commercial providers and it appeals to aspiration lifestyles.”