Baratt Court bombshell to uproot OAP residents

ELDERLY Skegness residents face the turmoil of being uprooted from their sheltered accommodation when it is torn down to make way for a new care facility.

Barratt Court on Lyndhurst Avenue, Skegness, currently houses 19 elderly people but has been earmarked for demolition along with properties on Lancaster Avenue by owners, New Linx Housing Trust.

Although the extra care facility planned for the site will provide more beds and a higher standard of accommodation, some of its current residents’ relatives are worried about how they will cope with being relocated during the construction.

Carol Johnson’s 98-year-old aunt Susan Bellingham lives in one of the home’s 21 bedsits.

Carol said: “I’ve got to agree that it does need up-marketing as it’s a very old fashioned building and some of the residents are all for it.

“But my main worry is if she has to leave Skegness - neither my husband nor I drive and so we won’t be able to visit her if she goes.”

Carol is also concerned that her aunt will lose out on the support she currently receives from her fellow tenants.

“Not being around her friends will affect her a lot - with my husband and I working it’s nice to know that some of the other ladies are there for her.

“They have my mobile number to call if there are any problems and they also do all her shopping for her,” Carol said.

The decision to redevelop the site came after Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council identified a need for more adult care facilities in Skegness.

New Linx recognised that the mainly bed-sit based accommodation at Barratt Court was outdated and would be well suited for replacement.

Director of operations for New Linx Housing Trust Jack Whyman said: “Bed-sit accommodation is out of fashion and so it is more difficult to let them.

“The new facility will be better for the fairly elderly people who will be able to receive their care in house.”

There will be 40 private accommodation units in the new development and its residents will have access to in house treatment rooms, hair dressing salons and a communal dining room.

However the current residents will not be guaranteed a place in the new facility as it will be predominantly for residents with a greater care need than themselves.

Construction is estimated to take between 18 months and two years on top of the planning process - meaning all of its inhabitants will need relocating for at least that long.

New Linx Housing Trust housing officers met with the residents at Barratt Court yesterday to answer questions and explain the relocation process to them.

Mr Whyman explained that they have been keeping properties vacant for the residents so that they can relocate them to nearby homes wherever possible. Staff will also assist residents when they move and to help them settle in to their new surroundings.

“We’ve done it before in Louth - our officers are experienced with the issues surrounding moving house and will provide some support to make the move as stress-free as possible,” he said.