After many years use as a residential care home the owners, the Diocese of Hallam are to close the home. The closing date will occur as soon as the remaining six residents can be re-homed.
The continuing use of St Anne’s as a residential home is no longer a prime objective for the Diocese who are seeking to ultimately dispose of the facility. A problem arises as to what can happen to a building of this size when left unoccupied. St Anne’s is a grade II* listed building and a key element of the village heritage. Tom Garrud, Diocese property manager, explained to a recent meeting of the Parish Council and villagers that boarding the building up is not a positive option. It will look unsightly, can damage the building structure and could ultimately draw attention to its unoccupied status drawing unwanted interest from squatters.
It is therefore the intention of the Diocese to appoint Ad Hoc Property Management Ltd., a property management company to handle the on-going security of the building until its sale. Craig Mitchell, branch manager of Ad Hoc Property Management explained that it is expensive to maintain the security of a building of this size through the use of a 24 hour security guard. Ad Hoc, in association with the Diocese and its Trustees therefore propose to install ten property guardians to occupy the building.
Property guardians are selected from vetted local working professionals who will be paying rent to live in the property as if it is their own home until the property is sold. All of the already vetted Guardians are over 35 years of age with one over the age of 70. They will occupy the rooms towards the front of the building and near the entrance and exits to increase the security of the property. On-going, Ad Hoc Ltd will maintain unannounced inspections to ensure the occupation meets pre-set agreed standards with the guardians.
The Diocese will continue to maintain the structure of the building and the grounds giving due consideration to the graves . The future of St Anne’s remains uncertain. Its continuing use or sale as a residential home would require substantial redevelopment to meet current standards of accessibility. The use of the building in any other form would require change of use planning permission. This proud building needs care, attention and modernisation to fit with any future investment by a new owner. Certainly as a listed building and a focal point in the village the sale has created unease amongst many of the villagers.
The minutes of the Parish Council meeting on St Anne’s held on 17th July can be seen here.
Once the home of the Anne family the then mansion house, built by George Anne around 1797 is an important asset to the village. The house was later acquired in 1946 by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Good and Perpetual Succour, who took it over as a Rest Home for elderly ladies. In 1986 it was sold to the Dominican Sisters of Oakford, Natal who had extensive alterations done, including building a new Chapel and a retreat room. It continued to be a Rest Home for elderly ladies and a Chapel of Ease for Blessed English Martyrs. The increasing age of the sisters led to the eventual sale of St Anne’s to the Diocese of Hallam in 1998.