Signature Senior Lifestyle are purchasing the site from NHS Property Services –– subject to obtaining planning permission – and the developers say they are proposing a design that would be compatible with the Wood Street conservation area.
Plans, artists’ impressions and more information about the proposed care home – that will be two to three storeys in height – will be on public display at Chipping Barnet Library on Thursday 12 July from 3pm to 8pm.
Already 2,000 invitations have been sent out and Signature are consulting local groups such as the Barnet Society and Barnet Residents Association before submitting a planning application later this summer.
If permission is obtained by the end of the year, construction of the £22 million care home should start in late spring or early summer, ready for completion by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
The new home would offer studio flats, and also one-bedroom flats suitable for couples, together with a secure dementia wing.
Facilities would include a ground floor café and restaurant, a second-floor bistro, community area suitable for events, and a small cinema.
The main entrance to the home would be via Cattley Close, resulting in the closure of the existing Wood Street access. The new home would face Wood Street and has been designed to sit closely on the existing footprint of the Marie Foster Centre and the derelict former nurses’ home.
Our aim is to build a home that is sympathetic to the conservation area
A garden at the rear of the 2.5-acre site would be kept as an open green space, although some of it would be converted into a 47-space car park for staff and visitors.
Signature currently operate ten care homes, including one at Hertford, and seven more are either under construction or are about to be built. The next to be completed is at Bushey, opening next month, and work has started on another nearby home involving the conversion and expansion of the Hendon Hall hotel.
David Roe, head of land and planning for Signature, said the company had already been in consultation with Barnet Council and their latest proposals for the site reflected the wish of the council to preserve the gardens and create access to the home via Cattley Close rather than Wood Street.
“The new home would front on to Wood Street but there will be a green space in front and gardens at the side and rear. We will keep the existing trees.
“Our aim is to build a home that is sympathetic to the conservation area and especially neighbouring buildings across Wood Street, including two rows of historic alms houses.”