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Father ‘disgusted’ over charity plans to partly knock down Newhaven care centre
A distraught father has described a charity’s plans to knock down a care complex as “stripping its assets”.
Hampshire-based charity FitzRoy is planning to partially knock down Searchlight, a care complex in Newhaven.
Much of the land will then be sold on to developers.
A FitzRoy spokeswoman insisted Searchlight was no longer financially viable and radical changes needed to be made to keep it afloat.
But John Hoey, pictured, from Hove, whose son spends four days a week at the centre, said he thought the plans were “disgusting”.
Mr Hoey, of Colbourne Road, Hove, said: “My son, who is paralysed from the waist down, has been going there for 20 years.
“The day centre was a thriving club with lots of people there.
They are clearly stripping the assets and selling the land on for as much as they can get.”
Searchlight was founded in 1933 by pioneering nurse Muriel Powell, who invited disabled men to join a workshop.
FitzRoy first became involved with the charity in 2011.
After taking over the management, it closed the day service in July.
Now, half of the complex, which is spread out on two sides of Claremont R o a d , N e w - haven, will soon be knocked down and the land sold on for development.
This will see 30 live-in residents moved out into new homes and a number of staff lose their jobs.
A FitzRoy spokesman said “difficult decisions” had been made to secure Searchlight’s future.
In a statement, he said the firm believed it could generate some capital to redevelop the site by closing buildings “unfit for purpose”.
He said any plans would be “in sympathy with the local area”.
The spokesman said: “Once new accommodation has been provided for the people we support, we will then seek to release any further unused parts of the current site to provide the remaining capital to fund the development.”
Graham Amy, a town councillor and former mayor of Newhaven, stepped down as director of Searchlight a year ago.
He said: “It’s unfortunate but I believe many of these difficult decisions needed to be made to keep the place alive.”
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