AN ANDOVER councillor is asking for answers, after a care home in her ward was closed down by the county council at the end of last year.

Cllr Iris Andersen (TVBC, St Mary’s) is calling on Hampshire County Council to make a decision on the future of Copper Beeches care home in Woodlands Way, which currently lies empty.

She said that it is a building with “potential” and that she would like to see it utilised as soon as possible.

Copper Beeches was temporarily closed last year due to “workforce challenges”.

On a recent visit to the site, Cllr Andersen saw that notices had been displayed, informing people that the water supply to the building had been shut off.

This prompted her to raise concerns over the building’s future.

SEE ALSO: Willow Court care home closed to visitors

She said: “We want to know what is going to happen to it. It’s dormant at the moment.

“How long is it going to take? I know it was a very difficult decision for them to make, and that things are very difficult for care facilities at the moment, but I just feel like there is a good building sat there, and we just need to know what is actually going to happen to it.”

Cllr Andersen suggested that, should it not currently be suitable as a care facility, the building could perhaps be used to help alleviate housing waiting lists by being converted into “bedsits” or similar accommodation.

“There’s quite a lot of options that could be taken on this,” she said.

“It could be used to rehome people who are desperate for housing. I would like to see something made of this building - it’s in a lovely place, and it definitely has potential.”

At the time when the care home, along with Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst, was closed, the county council said they would remain closed "at least until the summer of 2022".
But executive member for adult services and public health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, vowed in December 2021 that no care home in Hampshire will be closed down.

READ MORE: Struggling council-run care homes will not be shut down, councillor vows

A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said: “Last year the County Council took the difficult decision to temporarily close Copper Beeches in response to workforce challenges. During the intervening period we have been considering how best to use all our available homes to care for Hampshire residents, and these deliberations are ongoing.

“In the meantime, the utilities at Copper Beeches, including the water, have been disconnected. This is routine procedure in managing an unoccupied building and should not be seen as a precursor to permanent closure.”

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