Letters: Plans for care home withdrawn

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In September, I wrote to the Gazette about the lack of nursing/care homes in Whitby for the elderly.

At that time my concern was for my friend, who had to go into a nursing home in Scarborough when all she wanted was to be able to come home to Whitby to spend her remaining time near her family and friends.

Sadly, she passed away three days after going into the home.

Since my letter appeared, I have had various people come to me to say they agreed with everything I had written, and I also had a lady who brought to my attention information about the housing estate being built on the former Sneaton Castle farmland.

When Harrisons put in outline plans for this project it was for approximately 290 houses, and an 80-roomed home for the elderly.

At that time both Baytree and Hawksgarth Lodge was still open and those attending the planning meeting were told that Whitby needed the 80-roomed home.

The second stage of plans are going to the final planning, as these were in the original outline planning.

However, a letter was sent out to residents in the vicinity informing them that after Harrisons had investigated and had consultations (not sure who with at this stage), apparently Whitby has no need for the 80-room facility and Harrisons now want to build 14/15 more houses and the planning for these will be put forward at a later date.

I can quote an extract from the letter: “The site in question already benefits from an outline planning consent for an 80 bed care facility. Our client has had discussions with a number of care home operators over a number of years.

“However, it has become apparent that the market demand for this type of development has been met through development elsewhere in town. As such, it is now proposed that this part of the site be developed for market housing.”

The letter goes on to say that the council’s assessment shows there is a shortage of the three and four bedroom detached houses they propose to build, so they will be submitting a reserved matters application on the land where the proposed care home was to be built, it also says it hopes that we (nearby residents) will agree with these proposals as it will provide much-needed family housing for Whitby.

It is a positive development for Whitby.

Excuse me? Since the first outline plans for this development were proposed, both Baytree and Hawksgarth Lodge no longer operate as care homes.

I know of more local, elderly people who have had to be placed in care homes in various places, none of which are less than 20 miles from here, this is very wrong on all levels. Whitby does need more care home facilities for our elders.

As for providing much-needed family housing, unless they are going to be for social housing rather than for sale, there are very few locals who can afford to buy anywhere in Whitby, so they certainly aren’t going to benefit.

If any of my information is incorrect, then I apologise here and now, but having been shown the letter concerning this matter, I do not think I am wrong.

Carolyn Witt

Helredale Gardens