A HOUSING association wants to replace a Hatch End nursing home that closed last year.

Sanctuary Group has lodged plans with Harrow Council to knock down Silverlands Care Home in Wellington Road, whose 26 residents were rehoused at the housing association's home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, when the "catastrophic failure" occurred in February 2009.

The organisation said at the time: "At the beginning of February we discovered serious problems with the underground water pipes.

"We hoped to have the works complete before enabling those residents who wished to return to Silverlands to move back in.

"However, engineers have now revealed that the problem is far worse than originally anticipated.

"We have therefore taken the very difficult decision to close the home and replace it with a new one on the same site, subject to planning permission."

It is that permission that Sanctuary Group have now applied for, saying the vacant building does not meet national minimum care standards, particularly in relation to the size of its 35 bedrooms and the fact the en-suite bathrooms cannot accommodate wheelchairs.

Sanctuary Group wishes to build a new home with six fewer rooms that offers round-the-clock nursing and dementia care because, it told the council, "demolition and redevelopment is the only viable and practical option".

Twenty-two staff would be employed at the replacement home although only up to 15 employees would be on site at any one time, and while the existing two-storey structure was created in 1965, the design of its proposed part three- and part two-storey replacement will mirror that of the neighbouring Victorian villas.

The applicants also wish to expand the car park and provide a communal outdoor space for residents.