Plans to demolish former learning difficulty day centre and sell land off to developers

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Loxley House, home to Nottingham City Council
By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter

Nottingham City Council will demolish a former day centre for people with learning difficulties and sell the land on to developers.

The Labour authority decided to close Summerwood Day Centre in Clifton in April 2021 despite some angry parents calling for the plans to be scrapped.

The centre provided support for those with physical and sensory learning difficulties and helped them retain their independence.

The council argued there were two refurbished learning disability day centres at Martin Jackaman and Spring Meadow which had plenty of room for more users.

It said of the 27 people registered at Summerwood, only on average 22 attended regularly. The closure saved the council £387,000 annually.

Now, a site survey is being conducted as well as a valuation to find out how much the land is worth. Plans are also underway to demolish the now-empty facility. These measures are likely to cost around £100,000.

A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: “We understand people’s opposition to the centre closure but have ensured that all service users who attended Summerwood have been helped to move to alternative venues nearby where we continue to support them.

“It was a difficult decision we had to make following years of cuts to our funding from Government. We need to refocus our resources to respond to what current support is required to help people become more involved in their communities, access leisure, volunteering and so on.

“Now that the centre has closed we are looking into options for demolishing the building, which will prepare the land for sale as a development site. This is consistent with our policy for buildings which are no longer operational.”

The council is currently being monitored by the government after a series of financial problems, including the demise of Robin Hood Energy, a council-owned company which went bust in January 2020.

It needs to save around £38m over the next four years and has already set out proposals to close six of its nine children’s centres and reduce youth and play services. It also plans to raise the rent it charges community centres.

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