Plans to demolish old care home could see 45 new council homes

By Charlotte Lillywhite - Local Democracy Reporter

17th May 2024 | Local News

Kingston care home Murray House shut in 2018 due to falling demand. (Photo: Oliver Monk)
Kingston care home Murray House shut in 2018 due to falling demand. (Photo: Oliver Monk)

An old care home in Kingston could be demolished to make way for 45 new council homes. 

Kingston Council has put forward fresh plans to transform Murray House in North Kingston into homes for elderly residents and people with learning disabilities.

Murray House shut in 2018 due to falling demand, with the care watchdog finding in 2017 the number of people permanently living at the care home on Acre Road had decreased. 

A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after the inspection said more than half of the care home's bedrooms were "continuously vacant".

The council said it plans to build supported living homes on the "well-located and vacant site", which it owns, to provide "much-needed" affordable housing for vulnerable Kingston residents. 

The authority added it wants to create "flexible and adaptable homes to allow residents to live independently and promote their health and well-being".

The development would have two residential blocks: one for elderly residents and the other for people with learning disabilities. Each home would have private outdoor space, while each block would have a communal courtyard for residents. 

A new walkway would also be created between the blocks to connect Acre Road and Elm Road.

Elm Road behind Murray House. (Photo: Oliver Monk)

It comes after the council made changes to its original proposals for the site, announced in October, after reviewing feedback from residents. The height and size of the proposed buildings have been reduced, while the council said it has removed the potential for overlooking into nearby homes and increased the number of trees which would be planted across the site.

The revised plans also introduce a line of three bungalows on the site to provide fully wheelchair-adapted homes. The council added all the proposed homes would be built with materials that fit in with the surrounding Victorian homes.

The new homes would provide supported living services to residents to help them be as independent as possible, which would vary from support provided for a few hours a week to round-the-clock care. 

Residents would have their own tenancy and would be responsible for paying their bills.

The front of Murray House from its car entrance. (Photo: Oliver Monk)

Lib Dem councillor Emily Davey, portfolio holder for housing, said: "It's exciting for us to be able to deliver projects like this – truly affordable homes, at council rent levels, for some of our most vulnerable residents. 

"At Acre Road we will be building council homes for people to both live as independently as possible and cut carbon emissions – sustainability for individuals and the environment."

The council is consulting residents on the proposals until May 26, with the aim to submit a formal planning application for the scheme in summer. 

If the application is approved, it expects to demolish the care home in Autumn and begin building the new homes next year.

     

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