'Miners Lodge' in Shiney Row to become care home for children with autism spectrum disorders after sitting empty for years
Sunderland City Council received a planning application in 2022 for a building known as the ‘Miners Lodge’ off Market Crescent in the Shiney Row ward.
The plans from Hexagon Care Services Ltd included converting the residential property into a children’s care home with an “integrated school for residents”.
Hexagon Care already provides specialist care and education across the country at dozens of locations, including around 12 school sites.
According to planning documents, the new facility in Sunderland would be aimed at young people with autism spectrum disorders.
During council consultation on the plans, a single public comment was received in support of the proposals noting the property had “sat empty for years”.
The neighbour added the proposals “seemed a better use of the building than turning it into flats or social housing”.
After considering the planning application and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it on Februrary 1, 2023.
A council decision report said the plans would be acceptable in principle and “would not result in unacceptable adverse impacts on the amenity of nearby residents”.
The council decision report added: “With regards to the integrated teaching facilities, it is noted from the associated design and access statement that these would be exclusively for the internal residents and would not be accessible to anybody not living within the care accommodation.
“It is not considered therefore that the proposal would result in the provision of a new community facility in the form of the teaching facilities.”
Proposed site plans show how the building would be subdivided, with staff facilities, lounge areas, a kitchen, a sensory room, bathroom facilities and two classrooms at ground floor level.
On the first floor, plans show four bedrooms, ‘staff bedrooms’, bathroom and shower facilities.
Proposals also include converting a garage into a food tech area, multifunctional space and an office and wellbeing room.
A design and access statement confirms the school would be registered with the Department for Education and subject to Ofsted monitoring and would offer “broad and balanced lessons based upon the National Curriculum”.
There would also be a large team of staff working at the building, including staff sleeping overnight, as well as ten car parking spaces being retained.