Charity’s new vision frees up land next to Leamington housing estate
New plans announced by Leamington brain injury specialists Castel Froma are to free up a large area of land to developers.
Two years ago, the charity bought land on the former Croft Hall school site close to its Lillington Road care home, intending to use it to build a 78-bed care centre for its long-term residents.
But the organisation then proceeded with taking over the Helen Ley multiple sclerosis care centre in Blackdown - and while this took place, the plans for the new centre were put on hold. Now the charity has decided to move things in a different direction.
Chief executive Rob Pearce said: “For a number of years, we’ve recognised that the Lillington Road site has certain limitations, which is why we purchased the Cloister Way site.
“But since we bought Helen Ley, it has become apparent that an integrated care centre is needed for both Castel Froma residents and Helen Ley guests, and this is the approach we are beginning to address.
“Unfortunately this new vision cannot be realised on the Cloister Way site, which is why we have now decided to sell the land in order to free up the funds necessary to pursue alternative opportunities.”
Although Mr Pearce said that he and his team had plans for where they would like the new site to be, there was “nothing definitive” in place while discussions were ongoing.
He said: “We would like to get on with solving this problem as soon as possible and the board is very focused on this issue.
“The current Castel Froma site is not getting better, so we need to get on.
“I would hope that we would have some news for people quite soon.”
Steve Nicklin, chairman of trustees for Castel Froma, acknowledged that their decision to sell the Cloister Way site “may present a concern to local homeowners”, but he said: “Our primary focus will always be the needs of our residents at Castel Froma and guests at Helen Ley.
“The new centre will provide the very latest facilities for people with brain injury and neurological conditions and will offer permanent and short term respite care.”
Castel Froma provides respite and residential care and rehabilitation for people with severe neurological conditions. The charity took over the running of the Helen Ley centre in May last year, which at the time specialised in providing respite care for patients with multiple sclerosis. It now also cares for people with Huntingdon’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.
In February 2011, Warwick District Council granted planning permission for AC Lloyd to build a new 58-home housing development on the former North Leamington School site, which neighbours the land in Cloister Way that Castel Froma now intends to sell.
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