PUBLISHED: 02:01 09 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:08 10 June 2010
ELDERLY residents fearing their homes could be demolished to pave the way for 100 'extra care' flats and a rehabilitation centre have vowed to fight 'all the way'. The elderly and disabled residents of the 26 council bungalows in Halsdon Avenue have signe
ELDERLY residents fearing their homes could be demolished to pave the way for 100 'extra care' flats and a rehabilitation centre have vowed to fight 'all the way'.The elderly and disabled residents of the 26 council bungalows in Halsdon Avenue have signed a petition - protesting at plans to move them to a new purpose-built development on the site of Exebank and Danby House.The proposals were revealed at a meeting, chaired by Cllr Jill Elson, East Devon District Council's member for communities, with councillors, architects and residents.The plans include a residential care home, 100 one-room and two-bedroom sheltered flats - 60 for council tenants and 40 for private leasehold - a rehabilitation centre to replace Exebank, community facilities and a piazza - all of which could be open in two years. Some of the bungalows are owned by EDDC and others by the county council - and the proposals follow the county's decision to switch to using the private care sector rather than owning their own sheltered stock.Bungalow resident Barbara Taverner, 69, is a retired senior nurse and has lived in Halsdon Avenue since 2000.Suffering from ME and confined to a wheelchair, she said: "I am concerned that people with senile dementia and a variety of problems will just be lumped together."I was shocked to hear these proposals. We were given a day's notice - we didn't even get a whiff of it."I don't want to leave my bungalow. The noise in a block will be unbearable, people will smoke in their flats and the places will be too small."Fellow resident Catherine King, 79, has lived in her bungalow for 14 years. She said: "Moving there will be dreadful and affect our quality of life."The flats are simply too small for both my husband and me - this is a real concern."Every resident bar one has signed up to my petition. We will be fighting this all the way."Cllr Elson said: "EDDC has agreed to work in partnership with DCC to provide a 'care community' on this site. This will involve the demolition of some or all of the bungalows."The meeting was held to discuss ideas and proposals from Shawhealth Care for the development before a planning application is submitted in the autumn."She said the plans varied and ranged from single-storey to a five-storey block where Exebank is currently situated."We want to bring care up to 21st Century standards. Residents' welfare is our number one priority."We have responsibility to provide extra care flats and want them to be user-friendly. People who need care want to be able to live in their own homes and not in care homes. "This was an opportunity for residents to add their ideas. Considering the stress and trauma of moving, I thought the residents were very reasonable about it.