Plans to change care home into house for people with complex needs

care home

The site at 105 Park Road, Lowestoft. - Credit: Google Maps

Planning permission has been sought to change a care home to a large house to function as supported living for people with complex needs.

The site at 105 Park Road, Lowestoft, is situated with the North Lowestoft Conservation Area and noted within the Conservation Area Appraisal for being of local importance and is therefore considered to be a Non-Designated heritage Asset (NDHA) which forms part of the 'Local List'.

This means the conversion of premises to houses of multiple occupation (HMO) is only permitted in exceptional circumstances.

But the proposed 24-hour supported housing facility proposed by The Stone Foundation and to be managed by Mavam Group Ltd - would be in line with the strategic aims of Suffolk County Council with regard to supported housing delivery and in this case the developer says exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated.

The application was considered by the planning committee (north) meeting at East Suffolk Council on December 8, 2020.

Councillors expressed concerns with the level of information provided regarding the location of the staff facilities within the accommodation such as office and sleeping accommodation; the maximum number of occupants of the accommodation and the staff numbers required to assist the occupiers of the accommodation.

A decision on the application was deferred to enable officers to establish these matters with the applicant to enable councillors to fully consider the application.

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Officers have been in discussion with the applicants following the meeting to seek the information requested by councillors.

Concerns will be discussed at next week's planning committee meeting (north) to see if the issues have been resolved.

The proposal if accepted is expected to create 10 new employment opportunities for the local community.

Mavam Supported Housing (MSH) provides support to people aged sixteen upwards, with no upper age limit.

The users of their services will usually have a diagnosis of a learning disability, such as autism, physical disabilities and/or a mental health problem.

Residents will be supported by a minimum of six staff. Each service user will have an individual, flexible, care and support package which is adapted according to need.

But 57 letters of objection have been received and cover a range of issues, particularly the large amount of of temporary and supported housing in the area.