Former Derbyshire care home set to be bulldozed for affordable homes

The Willows care home in Ripley.
The Willows care home in Ripley.

A former council care home in Ripley could be demolished to make way for affordable housing.

The site, off Laurel Avenue in Ripley, is currently home to a former Derbyshire County Council care home called The Willows.

However, plans have been submitted by Waterloo Housing to demolish the derelict premises to make way for 10 affordable rented houses.

A house on the site, which had been used as office space, would also be knocked own, along with a boiler house.

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The site sits directly opposite Ripley Hospital, next to the town’s ambulance station.

Amber Valley Borough Council will make a decision on the plans in the next few months.

A report submitted with the application by Willder Architects says: “The Willows Care Home brownfield site is logically suited to a low-rise housing development.

“It is in perfect scale and character to its location.

“The development will present the developer with some minor but far from insurmountable challenges around demolition, ecology and drainage. When complete, the development will provide much-needed housing in a high-demand and sustainable location.”

Nick Willder, an agent acting on behalf of Waterloo Housing, wrote in a letter: “This application brings forward more affordable homes than expected in a location of significant affordable housing need.”

A 15-home development in Duffield, on the county council’s former depot, was approved earlier this month – without any affordable houses. The applicant, Derbyshire Developments, the county council’s property firm, agreed to build five homes elsewhere in the borough instead. These agreed five homes would be included within the 10-home, Ripley development.

Mr Willder says that the applicant aims to gain government grants from Housing England to pay for the other five affordable houses.

Homes on the Ripley site, the report says “will be a simple domestic design in-keeping with the residential area. It will use red/orange brick in-keeping with the town, and a grey, flat roof tile”.

All of the homes on the development, if approved, would be offered at an affordable rent – 80 per cent of the area’s market value rent.

Of the 10 homes, four would be one-bed flats; four would be two-bed houses; and two would be three-bed houses.

A report published this week by the borough council says that 345 affordable homes have been built in Amber Valley in the past five years.

Last year, it said, seven housing schemes which included affordable homes were built in the borough.

The borough council says that of these developments, there was an average of 47 bids for each individual affordable home, from people wishing to rent the property – of which 78 were let in total.

The borough authority also said that between 2012 and 2017, within the Derby Housing Market Area – the combined local authority areas of Derby City Council, Amber Valley Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council – 1,936 new affordable homes were found to be required, following an assessment of residents’ needs.

During that time period, 293 homes were built, the borough council says.