Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Witham House

Many residents were disappointed when Witham House closed after being transferred to Erimus from Stockton Council.  At the time that the transfer was decided on the hope we cherished was that it would be rebuilt to give Eaglescliffe much needed affordable housing for older people who need a bit more support than they have in their house but don't want to move away from friends and family.  Sadly, as time has passed, that hope has been worn away and today it was almost completely dashed. 
Erimus organised a community consultation afternoon with "indicative layouts" on display, but no sizes shown.  If Erimus has its way most of the apartments will be for sale, at the market rate for 2 bedroomed flats in Eaglescliffe; there will be no support on site for residents so anyone wanting that kind of sheltered housing will need to move elsewhere; the building and its car park cover almost all the available site and so there is no garden, nowhere to take a little stroll in the fresh air, nowhere to sit out and watch the world go by.  Even the outside of the building is uninspiring.
Apparently some of the residents who left Witham House have been to look at the plans and expressed an interest in returning to rent one of the available rented flats.  I hope that if they succeed it turns out to be what they need. 

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