06:00 Wednesday 01 January 2014

Plans to turn former Fenland Lodge Care Home into apartments

Written byJORDAN DAY

East Cambridgeshire District Council's offices. East Cambridgeshire District Council's offices.

A former care home could be transformed into flats, Ely News can reveal.

Major plans to convert the former Fenland Lodge Nursing Home in Stuntney have been submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The proposals involve renovating the one-storey building into 24 apartments in total; eight one-bedroom flats, eight two-bedroom flats and eight one-bedroom bedsits.

The premises, located in Soham Road, have stood empty since European Care Central Ltd sold the care home in April 2013.

Mystery has surrounded the closure and future of the building ever since but the applicant behind the fresh proposals are a Mr and Mrs Ratnasinkam from Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

The only information revealed in the planning application is that the premises are 5,680 square-metres in size and that the couple want to turn it into 24 individual apartments.

The applicants confirmed in the documents that they had not sought any advice from the district council before submitting their proposals.

When it was a care home, Fenland Lodge was able to cater for around 50 residents and specialised in caring for people with dementia.

In October 2011, the Care Quality Commission issued a formal warning to European Care Central Ltd saying they needed to improve standards of care at the home.

The main issues related to the staff - mainly that the owners had failed to “effectively ensure satisfactory references were in place” before employing new care staff.

A spokesman for European Care Central Ltd confirmed to Ely News that they sold the home in April but refused to comment any further on the closure.

Planners at the district council could make a decision on the proposals within eight weeks.

To view the plans or to have your say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.

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