Blackburn Children’s Care Home offer for family home turned down

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An offer to use a four-bedroom house as accommodation for three vulnerable young people has been turned down.

The planners refused to grant a legal development certificate for the project.

Possibility Care Group Ltd wanted to use the house in Billinge Close, Blackburn, to accommodate a maximum of three young people aged 11 to 21 with three carers sleeping through the night working shifts.

But Blackburn along with Darwen Council planners decided this constituted a change of use from family home to residential institution requiring a full application for planning permission.

The scheme is the latest of many such proposals in the borough and across East Lancashire.

A report by planning officer Nick Blackledge states: “The application site is for a four bedroom detached dwelling situated north of the turning cul-de-sac in Billinge Close, Blackburn.

“A Certificate of Legality for a use or development project (CLUPOD) is required for a reception center for children/young people (aged between 11 and 21), for a maximum of three children, with three accompanying persons sleeping at night and working shifts – Use class C3b).

“The assessment is limited to establishing whether the proposed use would be lawful or not.

“The supporting statement submitted confirms the intended use as an Ofsted registered home to care for up to three children/young people, aged 11-21, who would be cared for by three resident carers sleeping overnight.

“Possibility Care Group is already registered as a provider with the Care Quality Commission with which it is a well-rated care provider for children and adults with additional need and disability statements.

“The granting of a CLUPOD is based on the argument that the planned use will not be materially different from that of the existing family home, insofar as any change of use would remain in the C3 classification and would not constitute therefore not a development requiring planning permission.

“Overall, it is considered that a change of use to a C2 residential establishment would be materially different from a C3 use.

“As a result, it is considered that a certificate of lawfulness for the proposed use should not be granted.”

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