Care firm's plan to reopen Bradeley home
A PRIVATE company wants to take over and extend a care home more than a year after it shut under council cuts.
Plans have been drawn up by Safe Harbor to refurbish and add nine more rooms at Eardley House in Bradeley.
It would be turned into single and two-storey accommodation for elderly mentally ill people.
The operators of New Park residential home in Trentham are behind the move.
If Stoke-on-Trent city councillors grant approval, the centre in Moorland View will also have its existing 44 bedrooms enlarged and car park by eight spaces.
The applicants say the plan is in line with Government policy to ask the private sector to create more bed spaces for future needs.
The venue's day centre would become a lounge and dining room and the three staff bedrooms be turned into a laundry with worker training and restrooms created upstairs. Along with the closure of Heathside House in Goldenhill, the shutdown saved the council a total of £1.06 million.
It has since been sold for nearly £250,000 with two Goldenhill GPs buying Heathside House for slightly less.
The interest from the private sector led pensioners' leaders to accuse the council of doing too little to keep the homes open.
And they claimed the authority's real reason was to shake off its caring responsibilities.
John Davis, chairman of North Staffordshire Pensioners' Association, said: "If private companies can make profits from these homes, why couldn't the council?
"After all, the homes would only have had to break even if they had been kept open by the council.
"And with care in local authority homes being in general better than private ones, residents would be receiving superior quality.
"Instead of that, extremely vulnerable people get uprooted when we know from all the research that that causes premature death."
The application says: "Current space standards at Eardley House are not fully met by the size and layout of many of the existing rooms and internal spaces."