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Plans to turn Walton-le-Dale house into children’s home

Posted on - 5th April, 2024 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Redevelopment, South Ribble Locations, South Ribble News, Walton-le-Dale
Proposed children's home site
Proposed children’s home site

A house in suburban South Ribble could be turned into a children’s home for youngsters who would live together “as a family”.

Northridge Care Group has launched a bid to create the facility in a property in Walton-le-Dale. Up to three children – aged between eight and 17 – would live in the Selkirk Drive dwelling at any one time.

The firm says the children will have “social and emotional needs which can be cared for” in a personalised way within the proposed home.

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In a planning statement lodged with South Ribble Borough Council, the company describes how it generates a “welcoming ‘home from home’ environment, ensuring that young people feel relaxed, safe and at home during their stay”.

“Northridge are clear that the welfare and safety of children is at the forefront of everything they do, with the applicants committed to ensuring all children are brought up in an environment that encourages them to thrive and grow in safety, with tailor-made personal approaches taken to every young person they work with.”

The company has asked South Ribble Borough Council to grant permission for the change of use of the property, but said while it had done so in the interests of transparency, “a case could be made that the proposals do not, in fact, require the submission of a planning application given that [the house] will retain the feel of a residential use on-site”.

It also stressed that physical alterations to the dwelling would be restricted to separating an existing study from one of the four bedrooms in the semi-detached property in order to create a fifth sleeping area.

The facility would be operated by five full-time staff members – two of whom would be present at all times.  A home manager would also be based at the premises for eight hours a day.

“The children [will be] effectively living together as a family with on-site support…[and] will attend local education establishments – unless their needs require more specialist education establishments,” the planning statement adds.

Northridge, which says it has a track record of providing similar facilities in the area, has pledged to retain the existing trio of off-street parking spaces for the use of staff and visitors – who will include social workers – but says there is “additional on-street car parking in the local area if required”.

It says all visitors to the site will be asked to use the dedicated spaces and claims that the number, over a week, “would remain comparable with those expected for a standard family home”.

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