Wrecking ball plans for care home

Connolly House

Connolly House

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A popular South Tyneside care home which campaigners fought to keep could soon be demolished.

Plans have been submitted to South Tyneside Council’s planning department for permission to flatten Connolly House residential care home in Whiteleas, South Shields,

The building is surplus to requirements.

Planning application

The 36-bedroomed home in Reynolds Avenue was closed to make way for the creation of a specialist dementia hub based at South Tyneside District Hospital.

The planning application states: “The building is surplus to requirements and it is to make way for area redevelopment.”

In early 2011, more than 1,300 petitioners backed a campaign to save the home.

Council bosses then gave the home a six-month ‘stay of execution,’ after agreeing to extend a period of consultation until August 2011.

However, in February work began on relocating the final seven residents.

At the time, lead member for adult social care and support services, Coun Mary Butler, said: “Change can be unsettling, but I would like to reassure everybody that we will manage this difficult situation with dignity and respect to the individuals involved.

“However, it is simply not possible to continue to provide the services that our residents need at Connolly House.

“We now need to begin the process of planning the closure in a carefully managed way that takes full account of the needs of residents, their families and carers.

“Residents have been allocated a designated social worker to make sure their views and wishes are noted and acted upon.”

In October 2010, following a consultation, South Tyneside Council’s Cabinet agreed that Connolly House would close in the future.

It was acknowledged that, while the quality of care was excellent, the building does not meet the same standards.

Coun Butler added: “Five years ago we promised to be honest and open with residents and their families.

“We have maintained dialogue throughout this time and we remain committed to that approach.”

The outcome will then be decided at a future planning meeting.