Future of house in doubt

Abbeyfield House in Motherwell
Abbeyfield House in Motherwell

Rumours that the Abbeyfield Scotland house on Douglas Street in Motherwell was being knocked down were quashed this week.

Concerned residents living near the sheltered propery - which offers accomodation for older people - contacted the Times to express fears over supposed plans for the site.

While Abbeyfield Scotland confirmed that a consultation period over the service’s future is under way, North Lanarkshire Council insisted that no planning application had been received.

One worried resident called our office after hearing that the building was to close this week and flats built on the site.

However, a council spokesperson said: “Permission was granted on 30 August 2013 for a temporary access ramp, but there have been no other planning applications for any developments at the site.

“The building is located within the Hamilton Road Conservation Area and formal approval would be required for any demolition.”

Abbeyfield Scotland, which also operates sites in Airdrie and Coatbridge, say a consultation period is under way, with bosses liasing with staff at the Motherwell base, as well as one remaining resident and their family.

Staff at the building - run by Abbeyfied Scotland since 2008 - work in shifts to ensure the resident is never left unaccompanied.

A spokesman for the company said: “Abbeyfield Scotland in Motherwell is a registered charity that provides independent living with support for older people.

“It is imperative that the service that Abbeyfield Scotland provides to residents is sustainable.

“With changes in demand and expectations, the rising costs of building maintenance and staffing at the house in Motherwell, it is appropriate that we review this service.

“We are currently in a consultation period and we are working with the remaining resident and their family to find suitable alternative accommodation and support.

“Abbeyfield Scotland is also consulting with the current staff members over their employment options.

“No decision will be made on the future of the building or the land until we have completed the consultation process.”