RESIDENTS have urged officials to keep open a care home for the elderly - despite being told the facility must close if a new extra care scheme is to be built.

More than 80 people attended a public meeting at The Wensleydale School, in Leyburn, on Wednesday to discuss the closure of Brentwood Lodge care home.

The meeting was organised by the newly-formed Friends of Brentwood Lodge campaign group.

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Andy Brook, founder of the group, told the meeting there had been a lack of consultation on Brentwood’s closure and North Yorkshire County Council’s decision to replace it with an extra care facility in Brentwood.

He said that by replacing Brentwood, which has 32 rooms, with a new 53-room extra care scheme, provision for the elderly would not be greatly increased, particularly if sheltered housing at Thornborough Gardens was ever to close.

But Mike Webster, county council assistant director for health and adult services, said Brentwood could not stay open if the extra care scheme was built.

“We cannot provide the new facility and keep the old one open – the financial situation doesn’t allow that.”

The meeting heard that Brentwood needed more than £500,000 spent on it, with even this amount not bringing it up to current standards.

Mr Webster stressed that the new facility would have 20 rooms designed for those living with dementia, with staff providing 24-hour care.

Residents were told a planning application would have to be submitted before Brentwood Lodge was knocked down and homes, including social housing was built on the site, as is proposed.  

A vote was taken on a call for North Yorkshire County Council to build the new extra care scheme in Harmby Road, but keep open Brentwood Lodge, with 74 out of 88 people voting in favour of the proposal.

The meeting also voted in favour of a review into elderly care provision in Richmondshire being carried out.

The review was supported by Leyburn district councillor Fleur Butler, who spoke out in support of the new extra care scheme.