Children's home approved for Jarrow - complete with 'Zen garden' and space for sports
Plans for a new children’s home, which comes with a ‘Zen garden’ and space for sports, have been given the green light by South Tyneside development bosses.
South Tyneside Council submitted an application to its own planning department for a site in the Monkton ward.
The plans formed part of a drive to expand residential care facilities across the borough and to reduce the amount of children and young people being sent outside South Tyneside for care.
Separate planning applications for new facilities included a ‘children’s assessment centre’ in South Shields, which was approved by councillors last week, as well as plans for children’s homes at sites in Hebburn and Jarrow.
The Jarrow application site sits on the corner of Grant Street and Hill Street with four bedrooms for children and two bedrooms for live-in staff proposed.
According to a design and access statement submitted with the plans, the multi-purpose garden would offer a range of features including a “Zen garden” and a grassed area which could be used for “informal sports”.
In addition, the children’s home was designed to be sustainable with opportunities for roof-mounted solar panels, as well as offering on-site parking facilities, cycle parking and disabled parking.
After considering the Jarrow application and assessing it against planning policies, South Tyneside Council’s planning department approved it on February 17, 2023.
Under planning conditions, work on the children’s home development is expected to take place within three years.
Council bosses previously confirmed there is only one residential children’s home in the borough and that limited provision, combined with a shortage of foster carers, means children are often placed outside the borough away from family and friends.
Plans for new children’s homes, set out in South Tyneside Council’s latest medium-term financial plan, aim to improve the situation.
Councillor Adam Ellison, cabinet member for children, young people and families, speaking in August 2022, said: “Young people cannot always be accommodated in the borough and sometimes have to go as far as Scotland and Lancashire because of a lack of places nationally.
“We want all our children and young people to have the best start in life.
“For those children who can’t be with their birth family, it is important their lives remain as stable as possible.
“We are keen to help our young people to stay in the borough, in their same schools, and close to family and friends”.