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Former care home in Pendle prosecuted

Published: Friday, 8th July 2022

A former care home in Pendle has been ordered to pay over £7,300 following prosecutions at Burnley Magistrates Court. where Bellgarth Care Homes Limited and Sage Care Homes Limited pleaded guilty.

 Bellgarth Care Homes Limited and Sage Care Homes Limited pleaded guilty to all the charges.

“There have been issues with the dilapidated condition and security of the former Belgarth Nursing Home, on the corner of Wheatley Lane Road Barrowford since early 2018,” explained Pendle Borough Council’s Planning, Economic Development and Regulatory Services Manager Neil Watson.

We needed to take enforcement action which included a long list of repairs required on the building which was both dangerous and an eyesore - or the option to demolish the building.
“By the summer of 2020 it became apparent that whatever action was taken to secure the building was rapidly being undone by a lack of security for the whole of site,” said Neil.

Tim Horsley, the Council’s Community Protection Coordinator issued a Community Protection Warning to the company in 2020, but problems continued.

Tim said:

“We offered to work with the company to improve site security but unfortunately there was a significant lack of action.

 “Young people continued to be able to get into the site, breaking windows, climbing onto a roof and other anti-social behaviour.

"Residents have been very worried about these ongoing problems, including the safety of young people accessing the site and causing further damage,” he stated.

"Because of the lack of action we were forced to prosecute the owners," he said. 

On Thursday 7 July, the court gave the following financial sentences on the companies involved with the former care home, which must be paid within 28 days.
Belgarth Care Homes Ltd - £1600 fine, £475 costs and £160 victim surcharge – totalling £2235.00

Sage Care Homes Limited - £4000 fine, £687.50 costs and £400 victim surcharge – totalling £5087.50 for six breaches of Community Protection Notice.

In sentencing, the Magistrates commented that the company had done the bare minimum to comply with the Community Protection Notice and had not taken responsibility to improve matters.
Council Leader, Councillor Nadeem Ahmed said:

“I would like to thank local residents, Council staff and the Police for their tenacity in seeing this difficult case through the court after a long battle.

“The state of the former Belgarth Nursing home has been a big concern for local residents and for us for several years, including worrying safety issues and the impact this large prominent building has had on the neighbouring area.”

 Bellgarth Care Homes Limited has now submitted a planning application for the site.  The information is on Pendle Council’s website
 for: “Demolition of rear extensions and conversion of care home (Use Class C2) to 14 No. apartments (Use Class C3), reconfigure part of roof and two storey extensions to the rear”.