Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Residents to be moved out of Yorkshire Housing units in Ingleton, Skipton and Grassington
7:00am Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
Elderly residents of 84 sheltered flats and bedsits in Skipton and Craven are in shock after being told they are to lose their homes.
A phased closure will take place, with the first, Aynham Close at Grassington, due to close in April next year. In Ingleton, Reid House is due to close in July next year, while in Skipton, the 21 at Roughaw Close, and 21 at Greatwood Close, should close in January, 2015.
Most of the residents, including some in their 90s, were told last week, while the remainder are due to be informed this week or next.
Yorkshire Housing says many of the homes “aren’t fit for modern living” and claims demand is low.
At Reid House, resident John Clapham, 81, said they had no warning at all until receiving a request that they all stay in on Friday.
Mr Chapman, a resident for eight years and former Craven district councillor, said it had been a great shock.
“A notice had been put up to say there was an important meeting on Friday and that they’d like us all to stay in,” he said.
“They came in several cars and two of them went into each flat to talk to everyone separately.”
Mr Clapham, who was on the council planning committee that approved the flats, said residents had been told the building was unfit.
“We’ve been told we will have to find somewhere else to go. They’ve said if bungalows become available we will have first choice. I was offered a place in Embsay, but I said I’m an Ingletonian, why would I go to Embsay?”
Mr Clapham said he feared for his fellow residents, including four in their 90s.
“One lady in her 90s, is virtually blind and stone deaf. This could kill some people,” he said.
Ingleton councillor David Ireton said he had been assured that residents would be on the priority “gold” list for rehousing and that none would be moved away from where they wanted to be.
“I am keen that anyone who wants to stay in Ingleton has that choice,” he said.
He added that just because people were offered somewhere they did not want to go, they did not have to take it.
Coun Ireton said the plan was to redevelop Reid House, not in its current form, but as accommodation more suited to the changing needs of the older population.
In Skipton, Coun Robert Heseltine, the Craven District Council representative on the area committee for Yorkshire Housing, said: “This is a bombshell of distressing news for the 37 elderly residents and their families involved in the Greatwood Close and Roughaw Close flats in Skipton.”
He said following talks with the company, he understood the decision had already been made and the only consultation would be how the closures were managed.
“I and Coun Andy Solloway met with Yorkshire Housing and have asked them to consider transferring or selling the units in Skipton to other owners so to allow the senior citizens to remain in their homes,” he said.
He added it was his understanding that there were no plans to replace the sheltered units for many years, if ever, and that there was already a substantial waiting list for the few bungalows that become available every year.
Celia Cashman, Yorkshire Housing’s director of housing services, said a review had been carried out of all its sheltered housing schemes. She said: “Some are no longer fit for modern-day living and are in very low demand. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to move customers from these schemes between now and January, 2016.
“We have been talking individually with every affected customer as well as their families, and will have spoken to everyone by the end of next week.
“We will continue to liaise with all of the affected customers and their families to ensure we can provide them with choices on their housing and support needs.”
A spokeswoman added: “The intention for the sites is to be developed for homes. However, this is subject to available funding after 2015 as well as wider consultation with the Local Parish and District Councils, and affected community.”