Chorley Council’s planning committee has given the go-ahead to the redevelopment of the site at Higher Morris Farm, off Preston Road, in Clayton-le-Woods.
The currently vacant residential and training unit – made up of a two-storey structure and outbuilding – will be bulldozed to make way for more modern accommodation which promotes independence.
The new facility – to be operated by the supported housing provider Reside With Progress (RWP) – will be centred around a two-storey apartment complex, which will incorporate seven self-contained supported living units, a communal lounge and kitchen and staff living area.
A separate two-bedroomed bungalow will also be built and has been designed specifically to accommodate people with a high level of autism.
Committee member and Chorley Council’s cabinet member for planning, Alistair Morwood, said that supported accommodation was in “short supply”, adding:
“I’m all in favour of bringing [people]…who’ve got various difficulties back into the community.”
The authority’s senior planning officer, Amy Aspinall, told committee members that the new facilities would have a “traditional” appearance.
She added: “The apartment building…would be of greater height and mass than the existing building.
“Although it would be more prominent…it would not have an unduly discordant presence within the street scene, whilst the retention of peripheral trees would help to filter views of the development and would soften the visual impact alongside the proposed landscaping scheme.”
A report presented to members concluded that the new development would have only a “negligible or very low impact” on the setting of the nearby heritage assets of the Grade II-listed St Bede’s Church and school and two cottages on Preston Road – and that such harm would be outweighed by the “significant social benefit” of the new accommodation, which would provide more accessible and suitable facilities.
The application was unanimously backed by the committee.
Responding to the decision, the deputy managing director of RWP, Les Warren, said that the housing provider was “pleased to utilise an existing housing scheme in Chorley which is considered to be no longer fit for purpose due to the age and condition of the property”.
“The redevelopment will provide much-needed, high-quality, sustainable homes for adults with a learning disability and/or autism. By providing specially designed and adapted homes, we’re enabling people to live fulfilling and independent lives.”