New development plans submitted for former Hartlepool care home that closed eight years ago

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Proposals have been lodged with council chiefs to turn a former Hartlepool care home into flats.

Borthwick Properties has submitted a planning application to Hartlepool Borough Council for a change of use for Highnam Hall in Park Avenue.

The grade II listed Victorian property, which overlooks Ward Jackson Park, has been vacant since 2015.

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In October that year, the care home closed when it was placed under special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and 30 residents had to move out.

Highnam Hall, in Park Avenue, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REIDHighnam Hall, in Park Avenue, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID
Highnam Hall, in Park Avenue, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Previous proposals by The Care Home Group to restore the site as a “boutique” care facility providing residential care were approved by the council in 2018 but came to nothing.

A design and access statement in support of the current application states: “The property has been seriously neglected for over 7-8 years, poorly secured until last year and has seen several intrusions by vandals, which has caused some damage to the building.”

It adds the grounds are overgrown and “have an air of neglect”. Highnam Hall is described as a large old semi-detached property that was originally built as a house in the 1880s and has had several extensions added during the second half of the 20th Century.

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The new application seeks permission to create 14 self-contained flats, provide communal recreational space and 21 parking spaces.

Highnam Hall overlooks Ward Jackson Park. Picture By Frank ReidHighnam Hall overlooks Ward Jackson Park. Picture By Frank Reid
Highnam Hall overlooks Ward Jackson Park. Picture By Frank Reid

The design statement adds: “The proposed conversion of Highnam Hall into 14 self-contained flats has been designed with a focus on preserving and enhancing the heritage significance of the property.

“The renovation work will be carried out in a manner that respects the historic fabric of the building, using materials and techniques in line with its original construction.”

The design statement says the application will seek approval for the repair and renovation of the property to restore its historical facades to their original quality with sympathetic repairs, as well as protect and repair damaged internal cornice work and joinery features.

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It is not proposed to carry out any external alterations or amendments other than required repairs and maintenance.

The council has a target decision date for the application of early February.

The public can comment on it now through the council’s public access page by searching for reference H/2023/0355.