New ‘supported living’ complex for people with learning disabilities and autism planned for town

A new ‘supported living’ complex for people with learning disabilities and autism is being planned for Heywood. The specialist facility, which would also cater for those with mental health issues, would replace a large detached house on Starkey Street, which is currently falling into disrepair.

Based close to Heywood Sports village, the proposed scheme would include 12 apartments and eight bungalows spread across two blocks. The applicant claims the scheme would provide ‘a real opportunity to enhance the site, [and] provide much needed assisted living housing and improve the appearance of the site’.

“The site is located in the center of a residential and commercial area where there are local amenities, good access roads and transport links,” papers submitted to Rochdale council read. “This dictates the proposed site being suitable for a residential development and continues the site’s current planning use.”

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According to documents, the end user is likely to be Eden Futures – a firm which provides ‘high quality care for people with disabilities and support needs’. The company, which looks after more than 600 people across the midlands and the north of England, has helped identify the site to ensure the proposal meets the requirements of future residents.

The document goes on to set out the benefits the development would bring.“The siting and location of the accommodation is carefully selected to allow its occupants to have as much opportunity to experience normal day to day experiences as possible, which is vital to their wellbeing ,” it adds.

The care provided would vary ‘from critical to light care and everything in between’ across both blocks. The flats have been designed to ‘enhance the levels of care for occupants’, with staff on site and suitable facilities, equipment and personnel all available on demand.

The bungalows, where the most intense care is offered would be separate units, but served by a safety corridor, with all access points monitored and controlled. “The most critical care is offered within the bungalow units and can require up to two carers per person for all waking hours along with observational care during their sleeping time,” papers add.

“The least care requirement can be a couple of hours of assistance with simple tasks / care during the day within the block of flats. The care varies from critical to light care and everything in between as required across both blocks.”

Rents are to be paid from residents’ benefit payments, are being checked by the council to ensure they are ‘deemed reasonable’. “The supported living apartments are therefore affordable in nature,” the document adds.

There would be parking for 16 cars – including one disabled space – and 12 bicycles. Turning for refuse and emergency vehicles will be accessed via the current arrangement.

A decision on whether to grant planning permission will be made by Rochdale council.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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