A DERELICT care home in the centre of Warminster could be used for a much needed homeless shelter, town councillors say.

The old Woodmead care home, which is in Portway near the town centre, has been closed for three years since the residents were moved to the new Ashwood Care Home in Gipsy Lane, and has since been a target of anti-social behaviour including vandalism.

With the issue of growing homelessness in the town, councillors have said it would make a perfect shelter or affordable flats with 21 rooms available.

Cllr Dennis Brett said: “I am disappointed that a facility of this size has stood empty for three years when it could be utilized for the needs of people in Warminster.

“There is a growing need for more accommodation and as town councillors we feel very strongly about this.

“I think it is a moral injustice to society to keep this building empty when so many people could benefit from a shelter.

“We want to spread the message that we want to help the homeless and people in need in the town, and by making this building a place of shelter I think we really could help.

Mayor of Warminster Cllr Rob Fryer said: “There is certainly a public interest behind what is going to happen to the building and hopefully it can be used to help the homeless.”

Cllr Sue Fraser said: “It’s a shame that the building has been vandalised and it sitting there not being any use to anyone.

“The size of it would make a great shelter and would really benefit the town.”

The old Woodmead Care Home building which is owned by Wiltshire Council is currently used by Wiltshire Police for dog training purposes.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “The former care home was previously leased to The Orders of St John Care Trust, which has now opened a new facility in the town.

“Consideration has been given to developing the site for an extra care facility but this is no longer proceeding.

“It was agreed at the cabinet meeting on January 30 to sell the building along with three others that were discussed.

“It is believed that the site would be suitable for residential development and therefore is likely to be sold on the open market.”