‘Outdated’ homes for OAPs to close

The Clover Court sheltered housing complex off Hearth Street in Market Harborough.
The Clover Court sheltered housing complex off Hearth Street in Market Harborough.

Sheltered homes for elderly people in Market Harborough are to close after 51 years due

to the facilities being deemed unfit for modern standards.

The 28-bed Clover Court sheltered accommodation complex, off Hearth Street, is to be closed down after a joint decision was made earlier this month by Leicestershire County Council and Clover Court’s owners Seven Locks Housing.

No date has been given for the closure and Seven Locks and the council say they are now working to provide alternative accommodation to the ten people who live there and to assess their needs.

Five of those residents receive a care and support package from the county council, but all residents will be helped throughout the closure period, the council says.

The decision also poses a dilemma for Harborough District Council (see panel, right) as Clover Court is the base for its CCTV control room, its 24-hour Life Line panic alarms centre which monitors more than 3,000 properties across the district, and its back-up ITC servers for council computers.

The Clover Court site was first launched in 1964 by Market Harborough Urban Council on four acres of land then known as Clover Close.

Ownership of the site was transferred to Seven Locks as part of its deal to take over all the district’s former council houses and some care homes in 2007.

Jacque Allen, group director of housing at Seven Locks’ parent company Acclaim Housing, said: “Despite trying a number of initiatives, we have been unable to let the vacant flats at Clover Court as bedsits with shared bathing facilities no longer meet modern-day expectations.

“After careful consideration, and following the county council’s decision to cease funding for extra-care services at the scheme, we have taken the difficult decision to close the facility.

“We understand this may cause some concern and we want to reassure residents and their families that Seven Locks and the county council will do all we can to support them during this difficult time.”

The county council’s Tory-ruling cabinet decided in January 2013 that it would be withdrawing its £19,656 annual support for Clover Court after hearing the facilities were not meeting “essential standards”.

Dave Houseman, the county council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We’ve agreed with Seven Locks that Clover Court doesn’t meet the high standards which residents would expect, in this present day and age, as essential to extra-care housing as it has shared bathroom facilities and the flats are not self-contained.

“We appreciate this is a difficult time for residents and we will work closely with Seven Locks in the arrangement of suitable, alternative accommodation for residents.

“Along with Seven Locks, joint assessments will be carried out over the next few days on all of the residents’ care and support needs.”