Green light for new children's home in village

The approach down the entrance drive towards the bungalow.

The approach down the entrance drive towards the bungalow earmarked for the change of use plans. - Credit: Concertus

A new children's home looks set to be created after plans were given the go-ahead.

The scheme to turn an "existing residential bungalow" into a new children's home at Bramfield, near Halesworth was given the green light last week.

Suffolk County Council submitted "change of use" plans "from Class C3 (dwelling house) to Class C2 (residential children's home for six children with two sleep-in staff)" at North Manor Bungalow on Main Road in Bramfield.

A scheme was lodged by agents Concertus on behalf of the director for Children and Young People (CYP) at the county council, as applicants, in February.

With the proposal also centring around "minor extensions, internal remodelling, ancillary office accommodation, external drainage works and secure fencing" at North Manor Bungalow in Bramfield village, it would see children currently housed at a county council home in Beccles eventually move to the new facility.

It was "approved with conditions" under delegated powers last week.

The decision notice said: "The proposed use is considered to be suitably located and will replace an existing facility in a nearby town.

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"There would be no adverse impact on the landscape or the amenities of nearby residents."

A design and access statement from agents Concertus said: "The home will be designed to for up to six children aged between 11 and 17 years together with their associated care and support staff, who will be present on site 24 hours a day.

"In summary, the proposals will encompass a minor extension, internal remodelling and alterations to form the sleeping, living, sanitary and administrative areas to the building."

The plans were lodged following a recent county council review of children's homes across Suffolk.

With a programme of "upgrading, and improvement works" to be carried out, it added: "As part of this review, it became apparent Elizabeth House in Beccles was unsuitable for alterations.

"With North Manor bungalow being purchased by the council for this purpose, the bungalow is to eventually accommodate the children currently housed at the county council's facility in Beccles once works have been completed."

With East Suffolk Council consulted on the plans, they had "no objection", but one local resident objected to the plans on the "grounds that the extensions are not fully detailed."

The case officer's delegated summary report said the "objector’s comments have been addressed" and concluded: "When taken as a whole and as a matter of planning judgement, the proposal is considered to adhere to the development plan and NPPF."