Fears over state of former care home building

Hemmingwell Lodge, Wellingborough
Hemmingwell Lodge, Wellingborough

A former care home which has stood empty for the last 18 months has become a haven for anti-social behaviour and drug use, according to residents.

Homeless people have also been sleeping in the Hemmingwell Lodge, which is situated behind the Hemmingwell Skills Centre, off Nest Farm Crescent, Wellingborough.

Broken glass from the many smashed windows surrounds the building, and members of Hemmingwell Residents’ Association say something needs to be done to make it safe.

With no fencing or wall to prevent trespassers getting on to the site, they fear it is an accident waiting to happen. They have even had to clear up drug users’ needles and put out a small fire in the building.

Association chairman Cathy Mulholland said: “It’s a massive issue for everyone on the estate. Someone even set fire to it about three weeks ago, we had to go in with water to put it out. It’s a haven for kids and the main thing is that a child is going to get really hurt.”

Paul Haggan, of Nest Farm Crescent, said: “It’s been used by children to mess around in, as well as alcoholics, homeless people and drug addicts.

“It’s so dangerous, it’s an accident waiting to happen. We’d heard that it was going to be flats, but nothing has ever happened.

“It’s a health and safety hazard.”

Dawn Richardson, of Gannet Lane, said: “It’s been boarded up a few times, but they need to make it secure or knock it down.”

The building used to be owned by Northamptonshire County Council but was sold at auction in December 2011 for £200,000.

It was then listed for auction again in February 2013 for a guide price of £375,000.

Planning permission was granted last year for the demolition of the buildings and for 25 new homes to be built in its place.

The Telegraph attempted to contact the owners of the building, but despite several attempts were unsuccessful.