Care Home Site Finally Up for Sale

The old Order of St John care home site at Chilterns End off Greys Road has finally been put up for sale by Oxfordshire County Council after lying derelict for seven years.

The care home closed in 2016 and moved into a their new building next to Townlands Memorial Hospital.  In the same year it was included in the Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan (JHHNP) for 27 homes with 40% affordable.

The 2.37-acre freehold site is being marketed by estate agent Savills with offers invited by Thursday 14 December.

The sale could also aid the sale of The Chiltern Centre site next to it as the charity has been in lengthy discussions with OCC about the right of way to their site and was delaying the charity putting their land up for sale so that they can move to Highlands Park where they have been offered land to rebuild.

Paul Barrett, former The Chiltern Centre, Chairman of Trustees, who is overseeing the move, said Savills had been instructed to let potential bidders for the care home land know that their site may also be available soon.  He said, “We had a conversation with the county council and they are not going to implement the requirements that were in the original deed rider. That means anybody purchasing our site would have free access to it and wouldn’t be constricted by the deed of overage which was previously in force. There is co-operation now whereas before it was more about people holding entrenched views. We have progressed and there has been significant improvement.”

The Chiltern Centre hope to submit a planning application for their site for 3 homes that are allocated in the JHHNP in the New year.

Paul explained, “We want to make sure that we have got the ability to demonstrate what the buyer is purchasing. The application would be for three homes but there would be some movement between houses and other forms of accommodation.”

Discussions are taking place with Highlands Park developer, Crest Nicholson.  Paul commented, “We really need to tie them down and have something that’s belt and braces on the site so that we can have access when we need it. We need to have all our ducks in a row as we go through the legalities of it all. We need a purchaser for our site with the patience to buy it before they are able to access it. It is quite the juggling act.”

The charity has money to finance the move but would need to launch a new fundraising campaign for the rest.  Paul added, “We have got quite a lot of it [money] but we need a significant amount to finance the new build. But we really need to have the evidence for any would-be donors that we really have got access to the site on a specific date so we can all aim for that with confidence.”

 

 

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