Site of former Abbots Langley care home can be sold-off decide councillors
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THE site of a former care home in Abbots Langley – that’s been earmarked for residential development – can be sold-off, councillors have decided.
County council owned Margaret House Care Home has not been used since October 2020.
And, according to council officials, it would need ‘significant capital expenditure’ to be used for ‘service purposes’.
On Monday (December 4) a meeting of the council’s cabinet heard that plans for 27 new homes on the site had already been drawn-up by Herts Living Limited (HLL), the council’s own development subsidiary.
And councillors determined that the site could be declared ‘surplus’ and could be disposed of – to Herts Living Ltd or on the ‘open market’.
According to the report presented to the cabinet the 51-bed care home had been operated by Quantum Care Limited.
But the company terminated the lease ‘due to the quality of the accommodation’. And since then the site has been vacant.
Officers say the site is ‘subject to significant ongoing and repetitive holding costs’ and that use of the site would require ‘significant capital expenditure – and still may still not meet requirements.
Meanwhile Herts Living Limited have drawn up plans that would include four two-bed and six three-bed houses, as well as 11 one-bed flats and six two-beds.
And at the meeting it was reported that negotiations to dispose of the site to HLL were already underway.
The proposal to dispose of the site was previously considered by a meeting of the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel – where it was back unanimously.
At that meeting, councillors did suggest the council should look at whether assets developed by HLL should be leased or rented – rather than sold.
“It is right to say that this item came through my panel just on Friday and the recommendation to sell the asset to HLL was approved unanimously,” he said.
“But a further point fell out of the conversation at my panel, which is the extent to which it might always be right to dispose of an asset – rather than potentially hold the asset and lease it out or rent it out.
“So we have agreed – subject to cabinet today – that we will look at that at some time in the future.
“But that does not impinge on the recommendation before us now, which is that we should dispose of this asset to Herts Living Ltd.”
According to the recommendation agreed by the cabinet the ‘terms of disposal’ of the site will be agreed by the deputy chief executive and the executive member for resources and performance.