Green light for age increase at rural care home

Photo Neil Cross
New House Farm, Cow Hill, Haighton Preston
Photo Neil Cross New House Farm, Cow Hill, Haighton Preston
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An application to increase the age of young people who can stay in a rural care home has been granted, despite fears raised by neighbours.

National health care company Priory Group wanted to change a condition of approved plans for the home in Haighton, in rural Preston, to cater for young people under the age of 25, rather than under 19.

But residents close to the Cow Hill property said they had deep concerns about the change.

The home is for up to six young people with autistic spectrum disorders or learning difficulties, and the variation was recommended for approval by officers.

Coun Neil Cartwright said: “The applicants seem unable to understand the concerns of residents and seem very reluctant to engage with them.”

He said the home could have residents with “extremely challenging behaviour problems”, and said a decision should be deferred for a “meeting of minds” between the applicants and residents.

Resident Jane Hill said she had “considerable concerns” about her personal safety when the original application was considered, and bosses at nearby stables said they had concerns about the welfare of their horses, staff and livelihood.

Kath Bridon, regional operations manager for Priory, said there would be no extra activity in the home, and said there was a “void in provision” for young people leaving school at 19. The application was approved seven votes to four.