Disused Home of Compassion 'will be maintained'

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The owners of a Grade II-listed building in Surrey unused for two years have said they will comply with a council order seeking repairs.

Elmbridge Borough Council also wants a full time security presence at the Home of Compassion, in Thames Ditton, after squatters were evicted last Thursday.

It is owned by the care home company, Caring Homes, which is planning to redevelop the building.

Director Laird McKay said there would now be someone permanently on site.

"We recognise with the building being uninhabited there's a need for security and we believe we had adequate security, to be honest," he said.

'Outstanding home'

"We had security alarms, CCTV. We had security patrols going round three times a night, seven days a week."

Mr McKay said it was the security patrol that alerted the company to the squatters within 30 minutes of their arrival.

He said the Home of Compassion was decommissioned just over two years ago because the building "wasn't really safe and it didn't provide a stable environment for residents".

Mr McKay added that over the last 12 months it had spent about £27,000 to maintain the integrity of the property.

He said Caring Homes had worked with listed building consultants and other authorities to undertake necessary repair works, and work set out in the order given by the council would be done as quickly as possible.

"In the long-term we wish to return the Home of Compassion to an outstanding care and nursing home for the elderly," he said.

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