Moves are being made to re-open a care home that closed last year causing a scramble to find alternative accommodation for elderly dementia patients.

Staff were said to be “heartbroken” after being given three weeks’ notice in January that Primrose Court, in South Bank, Middlesbrough, was to close following an emergency meeting they were called to attend.

A planning application subsequently sought to convert the building into a 23-bedroom HMO for students and young professionals, but was turned down by Redcar and Cleveland Council in the autumn following objections from neighbours and a recommendation from officers.

An appeal against that decision was recently withdrawn and while the property remains in the same ownership, it has now been leased to another care operator with a new company being established, St Vieve Care Home Limited and a care home manager being sought.

Signs are also said to have been changed at the address in Normanby Road.

South Bank ward councillor Neil Bendelow told the Local Democracy Reporting Service an inspection of the premises by the local authority took place last month following an apparent refurbishment.

He said it was deemed that “significant investment” was required so it would be fit for purpose and able to be returned to its former use, while the Care Quality Commission (CQC) would also need to approve its registration.

Cllr Bendelow, who is the current Redcar and Cleveland mayor, said: “We need to make sure that everything is done right, for me personally it is vital.

“It has been a care home for many years and no-one has a problem with that.

“But it has to be of a certain standard and at the moment it is nowhere near that.

“We have to make sure our residents are looked after right.”

The council previously said it was “disappointed” over the closure, which led to new care arrangements being sought for 15 elderly patients, and it had been given no prior warning over the owner’s intentions.

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A spokeswoman for the council confirmed the withdrawal of the planning appeal and its understanding of the intention to operate Primrose Court again as a care home, albeit under a different name.

St Vieve Care Home Ltd is listed with Companies House, being incorporated in June last year, and having two active directors with the nature of its business described as residential nursing care facilities and residential care activities for the elderly and disabled.

Its parent company St Vieve Healthcare, based in North London, which is registered with the CQC and has been contacted for comment, states on its website it offers dementia care, live-in care, complex and end of life care, adding: “We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care while maintaining a personal connection with those we serve.”

The Northern Echo: The last inspection of the former Primrose Court care home in September 2022 by the CQC found improvement was needed overall with records and care plans for its then residents not always being kept up to date.

However three out of five of the categories inspected were rated good, while staff were also praised, one relative describing them as “brilliant, supportive and very caring”.

The CQC confirmed a registration application had been submitted and was currently being looked into.