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Residents face uncertain future after closure of Abbeyfield House, Bentham
10:00am Friday 24th August 2012 in News
Residents at Abbeyfield House in High Bentham are facing an uncertain future as the building looks set to close.
Horace Lowe, who lives in the sheltered housing accommodation on Main Street, is upset that the decision has been made without consultation.
Mr Lowe, 79, a retired carpenter, received a letter two weeks ago calling him and the other residents to a meeting to discuss the future of Abbeyfield Bentham Society.
But, at last week’s meeting, Mr Lowe said they were told that the sheltered housing building would be sold and assets from the sale would go to Abbeyfield Society on a national level.
The building, which is a permanent home for four elderly residents and another who comes for respite care, can have a maximum occupancy of seven people.
He said Abbeyfield Bentham Society had been advertising to fill the other rooms, but there had been no takers because the available rooms were not en-suite.
“I’m not saying I’m trying to keep it open if they’re losing money, but it’s the way they went about it,” said Mr Lowe.
“The residents had no choice.”
Mr Lowe, who has lived there for the past four years, believes that Abbeyfield has been in Bentham for more than 25 years.
“Abbeyfield is part of Bentham and has always been,” he said. “At one time, there was a waiting list for these rooms.”
Mr Lowe’s other concern is what he and the other residents will do when the building closes. “We don’t know when it’s going to close and we’re in a position that we don’t know when to make arrangements.”
At the meeting, he also said that residents were given suggestions for alternative Abbeyfield accommodation in Kirkby Lonsdale, Halton, Lancaster and Settle , but most of these had no vacancies.
Mr Lowe, who grew up in Kirkby Lonsdale, lived in Rhodesia (which became Zimbabwe in 1980) for 34 years before returning to the UK to live in Bentham in 2002.
Mr Lowe said when he moved he would prefer to stay local because he loved Bentham.
The Craven Herald contacted Abbeyfield House for a comment, but none had been received before the paper went to press.