A WINCHESTER charity has sold its former care home, Devenish House, for an undisclosed sum.

The home closed in late 2016 and St John’s Winchester has completed the sale to Landmark Estate Limited.

The site includes two Grade II listed buildings, on Southgate Street, one of the main roads into the city centre.

The charity decided to close Devenish House as it was no longer fit for purpose as a modern care home, coupled with a lack of funding for residential care places.

Residents were relocated by St John’s and has continued to provide a financial top-up to meet the cost of care home fees.

Since the closure the charity’s Moorside Nursing Home – for those with dementia – has been extended and the charity has also launched St John’s Hand in Hand, which provides support to older people living independently in the Winchester district.

Planning permission has been approved to convert Devenish House into eight two-bed apartments and a single one-bed apartment, with onsite parking.

In addition to the renovation, Landmark Estate Limited has agreed to reinstate offices in the adjoining property on behalf of St John’s Winchester. This office accommodation will afford in the region of 2,100 sq ft.

It is anticipated that the apartments will be available to buy during the autumn/winter 2019 and the office space will be available to let from the end of August.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to help fund the charity’s almshouse expansion plans. St John’s Winchester proposes to build up to 31 new almshouses on two sites in the city centre. The new almshouse units will offer care and support services to a greater number of local older people, complementing the charity’s current renovations to 20 of its units on St John’s Southside, The Broadway.

Chief executive Clive Cook said: “The closure of Devenish House was a result of the mounting challenge to provide high-quality care for older people, some facing complex health and care requirements, within the confines and limitations of a Grade II listed building.

“Landmark Estate Limited’s development will allow for additional residential dwellings close to the heart of the city, and will breathe new life into the listed property.

“We have now secured planning permission for sites on Chesil and Colebrook Street to build 31 new almshouses.

“The proceeds from the sale of Devenish House will go towards the construction of these new units, which will be integrated into our community.”

St John’s Winchester is one of the country’s oldest charities with over nine centuries of history and years of experience supporting older people of limited means.