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Proposed sale of former Cwmbran care home ‘surprising’

The former Tŷ Gwyn Care Home in Fairwater

FORMER staff and residents have voiced surprise and mixed views over plans to sell the site of a former care home in Cwmbran for housing.

Torfaen council is proposing to sell the former Tŷ Gwyn Care Home in Fairwater to a registered social landlord, which has plans to redevelop the 1.16-acre site into 20 homes.

The home – which was named one of the top 20 care homes in Wales in 2019 – was closed in 2020 after its operator and leaseholder Hafod said the building was no longer suitable.

At the time, Hafod said an independent review found “even substantial investment in the building would not address significant shortcomings”.

Gareth Ponting, who worked for the domiciliary care firm, Qcare, which had residents in the home, said its closure in 2020 came as a surprise. Mr Ponting said there were plans to upgrade the home with the addition of a male dementia unit before its closure.

“I knew a lot of the homes in Cwmbran and Tŷ Gwyn was one of the best in the area,” he said. “It was safe, it was in a nice area and everyone got on. The sale is surprising but it’s also disappointing because it was one of the safest and nicest homes they could have had.”

Cheryl Bristow, whose mother was in the care home when it closed, said she was ‘horrified’ to learn of the plans for housing. Ms Bristow said at the time of its closure, residents were told over a Zoom meeting the site was not going to be used for homes.

“I think everyone who had parents in there will feel the same,” she said.

Jean Woolfall, whose mother stayed in the home, said residents should be consulted on future plans for the site before it is sold.

“I know there is a housing shortage but there’s also a care home shortage,” she said. “People are living longer and they need care homes. There are not many in Cwmbran and Tŷ Gwyn was amazing.”

Torfaen council’s cabinet will meet next week to decide on a proposal to sell the property for £50,000 to allow for a proposed affordable housing scheme.

Hafod has offered to surrender the 99-year lease back to the council following its closure. Torfaen council declined to comment before next week’s cabinet meeting.

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Proposed sale of former Cwmbran care home ‘surprising’