Plans approved for redevelopment of care home in historic Hartlepool building

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Plans to renovate and reopen a previously closed care home into a ‘5-star luxury’ facility have been given the green light.

Proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council earlier this year by The Care Home Group Ltd to renovate the Grade II listed Highnam Hall Residential Home with a view to reopening the site.

The Park Avenue home closed in October 2015 after it was placed under special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and 30 residents had to be found alternative accommodation.

This came after proprietor Matt Matharu had his registration as a provider cancelled by the CQC and he was jailed in February 2015 for eight months for health and safety breaches at Parkview care home in Seaton Carew.

However earlier this year an application was submitted by Sean Murry from The Care Home Group to restore the site as a ’boutique care facility providing residential care’.

Council planning bosses have now approved the plans for the renovation of the building.

A heritage statement submitted on behalf of the applicant said: “The restoration and repairs to the existing structure all help to preserve this historic building set within the Park conservation area.

“The stunning interior features and fittings enhance the character and quality of the proposed 5-star luxury care home with large en-suite studio rooms, spacious communal areas and landscaping restored.”

As part of the work the interiors will be significantly upgraded to a boutique care facility and provide residential care within large studios, all with ensuite accommodation.

It will also involve the repair and renovation of the property as developers ‘seek to restore the historical facades to their original quality’

The number of rooms will be reduced from 32 to 25 to help create ‘large and more modern rooms’.

The plans also include include the replacement of two rear doors with windows and a replacement flat roof on the rear of the building.

The site had been ‘neglected’ since it closed in 2015 and work will now be done to repair the Victorian building.

A planning statement issued by planning agent Carlauren Developments on behalf of the applicant said: “The property has been seriously neglected for over 2 years, poorly secured until last year and has seen several intrusions by vandals, which has caused some damage to the building.

“However, it should be noted that most of the damage has been to the more modern extension and not to the features of the listed building.”

The development group also said it has secured the site and removed dangerous materials at the site such as glass and needles.

Highnam Hall was originally built as a house in the 1880’s and has had several extensions added during the second half of the 20th Century to provide for its current use as a care home.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service