Care home land for sale between Castle Rise and Highview Lane, Ridgewood, Uckfield.

County council offers land for sale in Ridgewood, Uckfield

Nearly an acre of land in Ridgewood, Uckfield, is being offered for sale by East Sussex County Council to be developed as a care home for the elderly.

The land is between Castle Rise and Highview Lane. Permission has previously been given for a 48-bed residential care unit there, with consulting rooms and refreshment area, but this has lapsed and a new planning consent is needed.

The council is offering two options.

One is for the sale of the freehold interest, subject to a restrictive covenant that the site can only be developed for the use as a care home for the elderly.

The other is for the sale of a long leasehold interest, 999 years, subject to conditions, and to the county council having nomination rights over a percentage of the developed beds.

Those beds would have to be high dependency dementia care or dementia nursing care capable of supporting either long term or short term stays. The council says it is interested in receiving bids on the basis of 10%, 15% or 20% of the beds being available to it.

The council says: “Outside of the requirements under the nomination rights bidders are free to provide any other older people’s care services that they deem to be a suitable mix and sufficient demand.”

The county council says it faces “very significant” challenges to ensure there are sufficient suitable and affordable options available to “meet the needs of the most vulnerable and dependent in our society”.

It says the county, as at 2010, had a population of 507,557 residents which is projected to rise to 525,208 and 545,110 by 2015 and 2020 respectively.

“The forecast percentage of the population which is aged 65+ is set to grow from 23.4% in 2010 to 27.2% in 2020.”

The land is being offered for sale as part of the council’s Age Well Programme which is an initiative to provide new high quality care facilities and address commissioning requirements in a way which will positively influence market forces.

The deadline for offers is noon on Friday, March 22, 2013.

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