A care home in Dartington is to close in January, forcing more than a dozen current residents to seek new accommodation on short notice, it has emerged.

South Devon Rural Housing Association (SDRHA), which owns and operates the Forder Lane Residential care home, last week confirmed the decision to shut the facility on January 17.

In a statement, CEO Christine Candlish said staff, residents and their families were informed of the board’s decision on November 1.

“This is not a decision that the board have taken lightly and has only been reached after careful consideration of various factors, including the evolving landscape of healthcare regulations, financial sustainability, and the welfare of our residents,” she said.

She added that SDRHA was collaborating with Devon County Council’s health and social care teams to assist the existing residents and their families in finding alternative accommodation.

“These moves will be handled with the utmost sensitivity, as befits the elderly residents of the home. Care home staff will also be treated with consideration during the closure process,” she said.

Forder Lane has room for up to 25 residents, although there are reportedly about 17 residents currently at the home, which was fully refurbished in 2012.

News of the closure came as a shock to Patricia Grimes, a close friend of one of the residents, who said she found out from a manager at the care home.

“To be informed that they’re all being rehoused in January is terribly sad, (especially) as it’s just before the season of goodwill,” she told this paper.

She added that her friend had been very happy at Forder Lane. “I’ve not had one complaint since she’s been there. The staff are wonderful and the food is lovely – I couldn’t have put her in a nicer place.”

She explained that her 78-year-old friend, who pays about £1,000 a week to stay at the home, moved into Forder Lane in January after she was compelled to sell her flat due to her special care needs and the fact that she has no close relatives.

“She is happier than she has been for several years,” added Ms Grimes, who pointed out that the news also came as a blow to staff.

Regarding the future of the site, SDRHA said it had “every intention of retaining” the Forder Lane building “to ensure that it has control of any change of use to the site and ensuring this is in the best interests of the wider Dartington community”.

SDRHA added that it would provide more information on the site’s future “once a plan is in place”.

News of the closure comes a week after this paper investigated a complaint about burst rubbish bags from the care home which had littered the street and been left unattended for more than a day.