Former care home for sale

Devon County Council is planning to close Green Close Care Home to cut costs

Devon County Council is planning to close Green Close Care Home to cut costs - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s Green Close is being offered for tender and could reopen as a care home, offer other social care – or be converted into housing.

The 23-bed care home was purpose-built in 1971 in a site of nearly an acre but closed last year as part of Devon County Council (DCC) cutbacks.

There has already been quite a lot of interest but the authority insists it will not make a decision until local social care needs – with a particular focus on dementia – have been assessed.

Bidders will have to make clear their intentions for the property.

If they plan to use it as a care home, they will have to provide information such as a timescale for opening to residents, and estimates of costs.

If another social care, non-residential or commercial use is proposed, the offerer will have to detail discussions with the planning authority and give evidence of their track record.

And if conversion to a residential use is proposed, the applicant will have to give information such as the number and types of homes that would be provided.

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Green Close was the first of 20 DCC care homes – and 17 day centres – to close after the authority announced it was cutting funding last June.

County Hall bosses said beds in the private sector cost less than half the £1,196 it was paying for each bed at Green Close each week.

Cutting the funding was meant to allow them to devote more cash to keeping residents in their own homes for longer.

A DCC spokesman said this week: “No decisions have been made yet.

“We have received expressions of interest about the building, and are now making the opportunity available on the open market.

“In reaching a decision, we will be looking at the social care needs of the local community and at whether there are sufficient services already in the area to meet those needs.

“In particular, we want to look at the sufficiency in the local market for dementia care.”

The closing date for tenders, with NPS Group, is September 3.

DCC expects to make a decision within three weeks.