Former struggling Sunderland care home set to become nursery under new plans
Plans for a new children’s day nursery in a closed care home could be given the go-ahead by city councillors next week.
Earlier this year, proposals were lodged with Sunderland City Council to change the use of Rowlandson House in the Hendon ward.
The building, on the corner of Ryhope Road and Villette Road, previously housed a care home for over 65s.
Last year, the home was placed into special measures following an ‘inadequate’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Inspectors raised concerns about missing tablets, record keeping, limited equipment and management.
Although the home was later rated ‘Requires Improvement’ in a further CQC visit in January 2019, the home closed the same month with residents transferred elsewhere in the city.
New proposals from applicant Anthony Lang aim to bring jobs back to the site, with plans to employ eight members of staff.
The new day nursery will not include any changes to the building and aims to accommodate up to 50 children.
During consultation, council officers raised concerns around highway safety during pick up and drop off times.
This includes parents potentially parking on ‘no waiting’ zones near the busy junction.
In evidence submitted to the council, applicants state there is enough parking within two-and-a-half minutes walking distance of the site.
However, highways bosses have asked developers to do their part to beef up road safety.
This includes paying for the extension of pedestrian barriers along Ryhope Road and Villette Road – as far as the back lane – to deter parking.
Another ask includes nursery bosses producing a traffic safety leaflet for all customers and potential customers around parking.
Despite concerns, council planning officers have recommended the plans for approval.
A council report adds: “Whilst the local area is predominantly residential, the proposal would replace the previous use as an elderly persons care home and operate over fewer days and hours of the week.
“With this in mind the use is considered to be compatible with the residential character of the area and therefore acceptable in principle.”
A final decision will be made by the council’s area Development Control Sub-Committee on Monday, October 28.
The meeting takes place at Sunderland Civic Centre at 5.15pm.