Plans approved for new council children’s home in Hebburn area
Council-led plans for a residential children’s home in the Hebburn area have been given the green light by borough development bosses.
Last year, South Tyneside Council revealed plans to expand its residential care facilities to help reduce the amount of children and young people being sent outside the borough for care.
Separate planning applications were submitted for three new facilities including a ‘children’s assessment centre’ in South Shields and children’s homes at sites in Hebburn and Jarrow.
Plans for the South Shields centre were approved by the council’s Planning Committee on February 13, 2023, while Jarrow plans were granted by council planning officers under ‘delegated powers’ on February 17, 2023.
On March 1, 2023, it was confirmed that the planned residential children’s home in Hebburn had been given the go-ahead.
The development is planned for land off Victoria Court in Hebburn, southwest of Hebburn Central and northwest of Durham Court.
Plans include four bedrooms for children, two bedrooms for live-in staff and various provisions ranging from en-suites, bathrooms, kitchen and living rooms to a sun room, office space, activity spaces and storage.
According to planning documents, a proposed annexe suite of accommodation would be used by a young person (post 18 years old) as part of a “support and preparation process for them leaving the care system”.
The two-storey building is also expected to include dedicated car and cycle parking and eco-friendly features such as an air source heat pump, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers.
The residential children’s home forms part of wider council redevelopment plans in the area, which include proposals for a new extra care facility and new council-owned homes.
During consultation on the Hebburn children’s home plans, no neighbour representations were submitted to the local authority and no objections were raised by council departments including environmental health and highways.
A council decision report confirms the management of and supervision of the children by the council at the site will be subject to Ofsted registration and inspection.
The council decision report adds: “The scale and design of the proposal is comparable to that of a large dwelling, with an annex building comparable in scale to a garage; and it is not considered that they would give rise to any materially significant harm to local visual amenity”.
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.
Funded 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”.
Under planning conditions, work on the children’s home development must be brought forward within three years.