Closure confirmed for Sidmouth retirement home

Abbeyfield Court, Sidmouth

Abbeyfield Court, Sidmouth - Credit: Google

Sidmouth’s Abbeyfield Court retirement home is to close. 

The charity that runs the home in Station Road says the 200-year-old building needs work done that it cannot afford to fund, and closure is the ‘only viable option’. 

But it says the house will not close until all 20 residents have been found suitable alternative accommodation, with some expected to move to one of its other sheltered housing schemes nearby. The 16 staff will also be helped to find other jobs. 

A spokesperson for The Abbeyfield Sidmouth Society Limited said: “The Trustees of the Abbeyfield Sidmouth Society have made the difficult decision to close Abbeyfield Court on Station Road, following a thorough consultation process completed in July this year.  

“A recent survey conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) identified necessary works across our three Abbeyfield Sheltered Housing schemes in Sidmouth: Abbeyfield Court, Cotmaton House on Cotmaton Road and Culver House on Vicarage Road. In the case of Abbeyfield Court, which is over 200 years old and located in a conservation zone, the upgrades required are estimated to cost more than four times the Society’s reserves.  

“Additionally, the extent of the work on this four-storey building would be impossible without moving our residents out of the building for a temporary period. The likely inconvenience and stress this would cause for our residents and their families, coupled with the upgrading and rehousing costs, mean that keeping Abbeyfield Court open is not a viable option.  

“The welfare of our residents has always been the Abbeyfield Sidmouth Society’s foremost concern. They were included fully in our consultation process, and a meeting was held with them recently to inform them of the decision to close Abbeyfield Court.  

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“We have reserved the available rooms in Cotmaton House and Culver House (both of which also provide independent living accommodation) for Abbeyfield Court residents to have first refusal, and are researching potential relocation options in other Abbeyfield houses nearby to see if they would be suitable.  

"We are also working with Social Services to assess the needs of some of our residents, who they may be able to relocate.  

“We would like to thank the residents and their relatives for their patience while suitable alternative accommodation for all residents can be found.  

“We will endeavour to support all staff affected to the fullest extent and, where necessary and possible, help them to find alternative employment in our other houses and the local area.”