Campaigner 'saddened' by council decision to sell off Gardenhurst

CLOSED: Gardenhurst has been closed off and will be sold by the Vale Council (5736731)

BOARDED UP: It would cost more than £400k to make the bring the building up to safety standards (5736739)

LOCKED: Gates around Gardenhurst have now been locked to keep it secure (5736751)

EMPTY: The Community Mental Health Team for Older People was relocated from Gardenhurst to Canolfan Ty Jenner in Barry (5736766)

First published in News

THE Vale Council has agreed to sell off the former Gardenhurst Day Centre after determining that the building was “no longer fit for purpose”.

An in-depth building survey had concluded that it would cost more than £400k to make the building safe and bring it up to current building standards.

The Holmsdale Place building will now be declared surplus to the council’s requirements and marketed by estate agents.

The building was recently left empty after the Community Mental Health Team for Older People was relocated to Canolfan Ty Jenner in Barry at the beginning of April this year.

Service users had already been transferred to the Hen Goleg Resource Centre in Barry after condition survey report for Gardenhurst “identified that significant repairs and maintenance would be required to bring the property up to current building standards”.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting about the future use of Gardenhurst Councillor Stuart Egan, cabinet member for adult services, said that the council had hoped to bring the building back into a condition so that it could be used again by service users, but “unfortunately the costs of doing that are prohibitive”.

He added that any surplus money raised from the sale of the site should be ring fenced to adult social services.

A report before the cabinet meeting, outlining “The future use of Gardenhurst”, said that the estimated cost to bring the property up to current building standards was £330k.

It added: “The cost of further changes to the kitchen area is estimated to be in the region of £50k and replacing the lift would incur expenditure of a further £30k. The full building condition survey on Gardenhurst has revealed the need for further remedial works.

“It is difficult to disaggregate all these additional costs from those in the initial condition survey. However, the overall increase in cost from that initial estimate is a further £76k, which does not include on-going maintenance. Therefore, this provides a total estimate of £410k.”

Sue Phillips, who fought a long campaign to keep Gardenhurst open after her mother attended there, said she was saddened by the news that the former day centre would be sold off, but added that she hoped the money raised could be used to support adult services and provide respite care for families affected by dementia.

“If the money is going to adult services then I sincerely hope that it will be used to provide very much needed respite care for so many family carers,” she said.

“We have a major shortage of this in the Vale of Glamorgan and now that we have seen Gardenhurst closing it will only get worse. It’s a growing problem and challenging for many families to care for family members with dementia.

“It’s not a time when services like this should be reduced.”

She added: “I feel saddened for those that campaigned for Gardenhurst and thought it was going to be used for a day centre.

“It’s a sad day but I do hope but I do hope that that money will go to adult services.”

Councillor Neil Moore, leader of the Vale Council, said during the cabinet meeting on Monday, April 28: “We wanted to try and bring the building back, but it is not fit for purpose. Any proceeds raised will go to adult services.”

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