Oxford

Sue Ryder's Joyce Grove hospice in apartment conversion bid

Sue Ryder hospice Nettlebed
Image caption The application to South Oxfordshire District Council is for 20 apartments for residential use

The future of a Sue Ryder hospice is in doubt after the charity applied for planning permission to convert the building into residential apartments.

The charity behind the Joyce Grove hospice, in Nettlebed, previously announced plans to move to the Townlands Community Hospital in Henley, but negotiations fell through.

The application to South Oxfordshire District Council is for 20 apartments.

But CEO Heidi Travis said the charity had "no immediate plans to move".

'Incredibly grateful'

She added: "We have taken this step to help inform us about all of the options that are available to us to enable the continued provision of the service for the long term.

"We will continue to deliver the same well regarded and respected services from this building.

"As always, we remain incredibly grateful for the community's continued support, which enables us to be there for people at the most difficult time of their lives."

The Edwardian property has 18 beds and stands in 11 hectares (27 acres) of land.

The Grade II-listed house was built by Robert Fleming, the grandfather of the James Bond author Ian Fleming.

People have been cared for at the house for more than 30 years but the charity cannot offer patients single rooms, and access via public transport is difficult.

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