Dementia care home decision for site near Milton Keynes put on hold

A decision to sell a former council highways depot in the countryside for £1.5million so a care company can build a 70-bed specialist nursing and dementia care home there has been put on hold.

A Milton Keynes Council cabinet members’ decision last month to sell off the 1.6 acre site at Woad Corner, in Lathbury, near Newport Pagnell, to Greensleeves Care was called in by two councillors, Peter Geary and David Hosking.

The site of the old depot

The site of the old depot

At the original decision meeting on March 12, James Fishwick, who chairs Lathbury Parish Meeting, said he did not believe the rural site would be suitable for a care home. He called for the council to re-use it for another purpose. The parish has since held a meeting to confirm the opposition of local people.

The council wants to use the site to be able to meet rising demand for health care services by older people. There is currently shortage of around 250 care home places in the city, with a need for 1,200 spaces by 2031, councillors have been told.

On Tuesday, April 9, Cllr Rob Middleton, the council’s cabinet member for resources and innovation confirmed that he has rescinded his decision to allow for more work to be carried out on the plans.

This will include looking at whether the site could be used for a mixed-use housing development. Any plans to build on the site would have to be considered by the council’s Development Control Committee.

Cllr Middleton said: “We are satisfied on most grounds but there is a question over whether it represents best value for the site. We will carry out further work on best value.

“If I am still in this post after the elections in May then we will make a decision at the first available opportunity then. It is right that we use the time before the elections to consider it some more.”