Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire axes Andover's Cherry Orchard Care Home

Mary Burke with her father Harry, who is a resident at Cherry Orchard Care Home in Andover
Image caption Residents and their relatives have been upset by the plans

Residents at a Hampshire care home have been told they will have to move out after the council decided to close it.

Hampshire County Council said Cherry Orchard Care Home, in Andover, had become unsuitable for modern needs and it could not afford to repair it.

The lead councillor Felicity Hindson agreed with a recommendation to close the home, where 17 elderly people live.

Relatives have been campaigning to keep the home open and condemned the council's actions as "heartless".

Save Cherry Orchard Care Home (SCOCH) took a 4,000-signature petition to Ms Hindson, the county council's executive member for adult social care, before she announced her decision earlier.

Ms Hindson said: "I am aware there is always huge concern if a home is closed... but it was very clear that Cherry Orchard [the building] isn't right to give the care that is needed nowadays.

"We are quite clear that Cherry Orchard will not close until the last resident has found the accommodation which he or she chooses."

She said there were plenty of suitable alternative homes in Andover.

SCOCH said it planned to launch a legal challenge to the decision.

The council said the only "cost effective option" was to close the 1970s home and move residents to other sites.

A three-month long consultation on the plans ended in August and the council received a total of 56 responses, including 30 from residents, objecting to the closure.

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