A PETITION against controversial plans to close a Bishop's Waltham care home has been signed by more than 25,000 people. 

It was started by Amber Hudson, whose 102-year-old grandmother lives in Bishop's Waltham House.

Hampshire County Council launched a consultation on the proposal, which has now concluded. 

By Friday, December 1, the petition had been signed by 25,305 people. 

Cllr Jonathan Williams, who represents the Bishop's Waltham ward on Winchester City Council, asked civic chiefs for the authority's response.

READ MORE: Bishop's Waltham woman starts petition to save care home

Hampshire Chronicle: Cllr Jonathan Williams

Speaking at the full council meeting on Thursday, November 30, he said: “This is of great concern to residents in my ward with an online petition against the closure having reached over 25,000 signatures, showing how important a local facility this is to residents in neighbouring towns and villages also.

“The public consultation has now ended, but I wanted to ask, can Winchester City Council comment on the proposed closure and the impacts to elderly and vulnerable residents, and whether Hampshire County Council have had discussions with the planning team regarding the future of the site in the emerging local plan?”

Cllr Jackie Porter, cabinet member for place and local plan, said: “I am very aware of the high concern amongst local residents and staff about the potential closure by Hampshire County Council of Bishop’s Waltham House.

“The county council’s consultation closed in November and like you, we must wait until the county publishes its intentions for the site, but the huge number of signatories to the petition shows the great public interest in the future of a care home on that site for both those who need care and the staff who live locally and provide care.

“The residential home site has a ‘class use’ of C2 which is for residential accommodation for those who need care: this could be a hospital or a nursing home and there are some other uses too.

“As part of the Winchester Housing strategy, Winchester City Council is committed to providing extra care homes as part of the range of housing for all needs. The city includes this in the housing needs for the major development areas too.

“I must say how impressed I am by the enormous number of people who have taken the trouble to sign the petition for the care home.”

The findings from the public consultation will be considered by the county council's health and adult social care select committee in January.

This is prior to any formal decisions being made on the specific proposals, no earlier than February.