Former Leyland convent to be demolished for dementia care home

A former convent in Leyland is to be flattened to make way for a care home which will include specialist dementia facilities.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:18 pm

The development will be built on the site of the former Oaklands Convent on Moss Lane. The last nuns to be resident there left in 2016, 68 years after the Sisters of Our Lady of the Mission order first arrived – during which time they helped establish St. Catherine’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Farington.

The building is thought to date back to 1910 and was previously occupied by the Poor Clare Order of nuns.

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The former Oaklands Convent on Moss Lane has become a target for anti-social behaviour and is now deemed beyond salvage (image: Neil Cross)

The care home plans have been on the cards since the convent closed its doors. Permission was granted in 2017 to extend the Edwardian building to create a 46-bedroomed facility.

However, a meeting of South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee heard that it had since been left to deteriorate to such an extent that its conversion was no longer viable and demolition was the only way forward.

Historic England declined to list the building after an assessment in 2015, but planning committee member Cllr Mary Green said that it was “with a heavy heart” that she was considering the application to bulldoze it.

“I just feel so sad that as a borough we couldn’t have…maintained this building slightly better than we have – we have let it run down and now it’s got to a point where it’s past any sort of rebuilding,” Cllr Green said.

Sister Maria, one of the last two nuns to leave the convent nearly six years ago, said at the time that she was glad that the building was going to be kept “intact”.

However, committee member Cllr Matthew Trafford, said that while he recognised the “historical value” of the structure, it was “not as important as a care facility and the amazing work that can go on in there”.

David Morse, the agent for applicant Corsa Construction, said that the proposed home was much-needed given that the borough had one of the highest proportions of older residents in the region.

“Health projections for the borough show a substantial increase in both dementia and mobility-related health issues, with increases of 87 and 68 percent respectively.

“This proposed care home will directly contribute to tackling these issues, with internal layouts designed specifically for both residential dementia care and residential care for the elderly.

“We are pleased to report that the applicants are in advanced discussions with a regional care provider who is looking to operate the site as a residential dementia home,” Mr Morse added.

The proposal, which was unanimously approved by the committee, is expected to lead to the creation of 55 full and part-time jobs.

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