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Future of Turriff Care Home back on the table

By Kirsty Brown

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A building which has sat empty for more than half a decade could soon be brought back to life after going under the hammer.

Durham-based Turiff Properties have secured the former Turriff Care Home, situated on Woodlands Crescent, which was closed by former owner Four Seasons Health Care in 2015 due to financial issues.

The facility was also subject to a damning report from the Care Inspectorate just before the announcement that it was to close, which was attributed to issues retaining staff and is further believed to have contributed to the facility's closure.

At the time of the closure it was reportedly home to around 30 residents, although had capacity for more than 50, who were all rehomed to other care homes with many being forced to move outwith Turriff and causing much upset to residents, their families and the wider community.

The vacant property has continued to be a talking point in the town after it was left susceptible to vandalism and the grounds became overgrown and unsightly.

In addition to the obvious visual neglect neighbours also reported that the area grew in popularity as a hang out for young people.

Turriff And District Community Council led the initial fight to have the grounds maintained while the property remained vacant, however even after identifying responsibility to maintain the grounds only minimal work has been carried out and continues to be an eyesore for neighbouring residents.

The building was listed for auction on January 27 as "a 45 bedroom former care home with additional building and approximately 0.87 acres of parking, well located for amenities" with a guide price of £135,000.

The listing also highlighted that the property would be an ideal development opportunity subject to the new owner acquiring the necessary permissions.

The former care home was put under the hammer for an unknown amount on February 2 and the new owners have already been in touch with local councillors to discuss the acquisition.

They have also taken to social media this week to initiate discussions with the local community about the future of the building.

After years of becoming increasingly derelict the enthusiasm of Turriff residents' for the building to be put back into use was evident through a number of keen responses proposing ideas for how the building could best be used to benefit the community.

Suggestions so far have included a care home or similar residential facility, a venue for designated youth activities or a social space for the community.

Turiff Properties a newly incorporated business under the directorship of Rachael Bell and is based in County Durham's Ferryhill.

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