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Care home is a ‘derelict nightmare’ filled with rats and squatters

By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter

A care home has become a derelict nightmare filled with rats and squatters, according to councillors.

A new care home and 22 spacious family homes are supposed to be built at the Carlton Dene site in Maida Vale but the site has been left abandoned for three years.

Instead, the area has become a “derelict eyesore” with weeds growing over the existing building and there are fears that the area will worsen before work begins in eight months.

Despite the estate being signed off in 2019, Westminster City Council does not plan to build the new development until mid-2022.

While council officers have struggled to find a private operator, the empty building has become derelict and squatters have moved in.

Now opposition councillors have called for the Tory-led council to speed up the development.

Maida Vale councillor Geoff Barraclough said: “This is a highly visible site on a busy crossroads next to a Grade I listed church.

“The building should be serving a community purpose not sitting as a derelict eyesore for month after month.

“If Westminster council continues to neglect the derelict Carlton Dene, it will become a magnet for rats and fly-tippers. Probably both.”

The new development at Carlton Dene was given the go-ahead after residents were supported to move into dementia-friendly accommodation nearby at Beachcroft home.

Family homes at Peebles House will be made available for residents at social and intermediate rent prices.

A Westminster City Council spokesperson said:  “The development will not only benefit residents of the new homes but will also offer a range of advantages for the wider local community with a new café and hairdressers and improved public realm.

“The council is currently considering options regarding the extra care housing service at Carlton Dene, before construction begins.

“We have taken action to address residents’ concerns about antisocial behaviour in and around the vacant property. We will continue to monitor the site – ensuring it remains safe and secure.”

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