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Anger remains as work starts at care home site
WORK to pave the way for a controversial 54-bed care home in Kidlington has started.
Construction staff have already cleared the site of the former Thornbury House children’s home in The Moors.
It comes after the Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (BPHA) won planning permission for 54 “extra care” flats on the site.
The approval came despite opposition from scores of residents over its size and extra traffic, and after the developer made some concessions on the height of part of the building.
The original bid to develop the flats over three storeys faced opposition from residents of Lambs Close, who said it would tower over their homes.
Despite the concessions, one of the most prominent campaigners against the development still has his concerns.
Lambs Close resident John Lowe, 67 said residents had not heard from the developer about progress on the site or a timetable for work.
He said: “You would have thought it would have been courteous and neighbourly for them to keep us informed, but it doesn’t surprise me.
“Our major concern was obviously the fact there was never any effective consultation with residents.
“The developers clearly thought they could ride roughshod over the community, but we have secured significant changes, particularly the reduction in the eastern wing from three storeys to two.”
When built, the special flats will allow 54 individuals or couples to live independently with their own kitchens and bathrooms, but with the support of care services and staff on-site.
But the BPHA has remained vague about its construction timetable and about when work on the building would start.
Association spokesman Nicola Dowlen said: “The new site will join existing extra care homes in Bicester, Banbury and Oxford which have been developed in partnership with the county council and The Orders of St John Care Trust, a registered charity, who provide a wide range of care services for older people.
“We know that we are living longer and in Oxfordshire it is estimated that by 2032 there will a 56 per cent increase in the number of people aged 65 and over.
“The BPHA care partnership has recognised this need and is working to ensure that Oxfordshire is the leading county for addressing our older people’s needs now and in the future.”
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