Residents at Langley Court received a major blow after Cambridgeshire County Council refused to oppose plans to demolish and redevelop the St Ives care home.

Paul Bullen, county councillor for St Ives, tabled a motion at yesterday's full council meeting at Shire Hall, Cambridge, for councillors to remove support for Luminus's scheme to knock down the existing building, home to about 50 people, and replace it with a £7million extra care facility.

Cllr Bullen's motion was defeated 34-13, with 12 abstentions.

A report by the council's adults wellbeing and health overview and scrutiny committee also recommended supporting the scheme as it would help fulfil the current and projected need for extra care housing.

It added that alternative options, such as converting Langley Court or acquiring an alternative site on which to build, were unlikely to be feasible.

Resident Thea Johnson, 86, also presented a petition to the council.

Maureen Copping, whose mother Hilda Mead lives at Langley Court, said: “We are despondent. They focused on the money and the need for an extra care facility, which there is, but don't just knock down the existing building to achieve it.”

Councillors were told that 32 residents have made the decision to move as soon as possible, a further 14 are willing to move and five have said they are not willing to move.

Luminus revealed its plans in July after securing a £2.3m grant from the Homes and Community Association (HCA). The social landlords also said it had an agreement in principle for a £5m loan from Huntingdonshire District Council – currently a grey area.