Antiques business could become first care home in village near Heysham
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If passed, the change of use plans would bring the first care home to the village of Middleton which would enable local people to remain in the community.
For the last 30 years Newfield House in Middleton, which comprises the former office building of ICI, built in 1938, has been used by Mr & Mrs Goulding for their living accommodation and as a storage warehouse and office for their international antiques business (G G Antiques) which specialises in furniture for the American and Japanese markets.
The building is a fine example of art deco architecture although not listed or part of a conservation area.
The planning application states: “The applicants are going into semi-retirement and are winding down the business so that they have no use for the building to store their antiques.
“They will continue to live there as has been their home for the last 30 years.
“However, they would like to re-utilise the building for a small care home for elderly persons, of which there are many in the area, in order to fully utilise the building.
“The building is set in some nice grounds extending to the front and side of the building.
"There is an existing car parking area for around 20 cars at the front of the building, and space for additional ones if required.
“It is likely some 20 residents could be accommodated.
“The application therefore involves a change of use only.
"The only design changes would be internal to the overall layout although many of the room divisions lend themselves to instant conversion to the proposed use.
“The existing vehicle access to the site will be utilised.
“The car parking spaces in front of the building will be retained for the proposed use.
“The proposal would retain the employment status of the site and increase overall employment at the site from that existing."
Several letters of support for the proposed care home have been received by the applicants, including one which said: “I feel that the proposal is a great idea for the local community and will generate a number of jobs.
"I have lived in Middleton and had family here for over 40 years and many elderly people have had to move away from the village when they go into residential care.
"It would be great if our local residents had somewhere to live that they are familiar with if and when they need care and can no longer manage in their homes so they feel at home.”
The planning statement provided to councillors says: “The proposed use would provide a small care home to facilitate an ageing population and benefit the local community and support the communities health and well being needs in accord with the National Planning Policy Framework. An ageing population will see the numbers of older people continuing to increase and it is important we plan early to meet their needs throughout their lifetime.”
A decision has not yet been made about the change of use from an antiques business to a care home.