Plans lodged for trio of new children’s homes to keep South Tyneside's most vulnerable children ‘close to family and friends’

Plans for two new children’s homes and a purpose-built ‘children’s assessment centre’ to help keep some of South Tyneside’s most vulnerable children in the borough have officially been submitted to development bosses.

Currently, there is only one children’s residential home in the borough, with space for a maximum of four young people at once.

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Combined with a shortage of foster carers, it means young people often have to be sent outside South Tyneside.

South Tyneside Council has applied for planning permission for three new children's homes.

But now local authority chiefs are hoping to boost this with bids for new facilities at sites in Jarrow, Hebburn and South Shields.

In September, Cllr Adam Ellison, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “We desperately need more homes for our children and young people who, for whatever reason, cannot live with their birth parents.

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“It is important that these young people can live in the communities they call home and stay close to family and friends.”

Children’s Assessment Centre in South Shields

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How the planned children's home in South Shields could look.

Planned for vacant land behind Seton Avenue, Fox Avenue and Laybourn Gardens, documents show propsals for a building with two bedrooms for children and two bedrooms for live-in staff at night.

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Up to three staff would be present during the day.

The application adds the building will provide short-term accommodation “whilst an assessment is undertaken to determine the most appropriate longer term living arrangement at a different location”.

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Building features include a secure front access and potential provision for a lift to “ensure future adaptability for accessible use”.

Plans have revealed the possible location of a new children's home for Hebburn.
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In addition, the site will offer dedicated parking between a main building and annexe accommodation, including cycle parking and disabled parking, and an ‘activity garden’.

Residential children’s home in Jarrow area

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The application site sits on the corner of Grant Street and Hill Street, in Jarrow, with plans to build a new residential children’s home.

This includes a building with four bedrooms for children and two bedrooms for live-in staff, with up to four staff expected to be present during office hours.

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Building features include a secure front access, an annexe suite of accommodation for those transitioning to new homes and living and activity spaces connecting into gardens.

According to the application, a planned multi-purpose garden will have a range of features including a “Zen garden” and a grassed area which could be used for “informal sports”.

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Residential children’s home in Hebburn

The residential children’s home is planned for land off Victoria Court in Hebburn, southwest of Hebburn Central and northwest of Durham Court.

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Plans include a four-bedroom children’s home, two bedrooms for live-in staff and an annexe suite of accommodation for those transitioning to new homes.

The building will include a secure front access, communal areas, living activity spaces connecting into garden activity spaces and dedicated parking facilities, including cycle parking and disabled parking.

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The children’s home forms part of wider council redevelopment plans in the area, which including an ‘extra care’ facility and new council-owned homes.

What happens next?

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Decisions on the children’s homes and children’s assessment centre are expected to be made following the end of a council consultation on the proposals.

For more information on the applications, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal.