Care and rehabilitation centre plans for former doctors’ surgery site in Staffordshire

A former doctors’ surgery in Burntwood could make way for a care and rehabilitation centre for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions.

The former Burntwood Health Centre building on Hudson Drive, Burntwood. Photo: Google
The former Burntwood Health Centre building on Hudson Drive, Burntwood. Photo: Google

Plans to demolish the former Burntwood Health Centre building at Hudson Drive have been submitted to Lichfield District Council by Dignus Healthcare.

If the plans are approved a two-storey rehabilitation building would provide eight accommodation units. A one-storey day unit building would provide two accommodation units.

A planning statement put forward as part of the application said: "The health centre operators have moved out of the premises in the last couple of years and the building and site has become vacant. Dignus has identified the site as being suitable to provide accommodation for people living with a learning disability or a mental health condition, due to its suitable site size, and proximity to existing established facilities such as local shops, and demand locally for such a facility.

"The development will create approximately 14 equivalent full-time posts and the service will operate with a shift pattern of 7am-3pm, 3pm-10pm and 10pm-7pm. There will be six staff on the day shift and two on the night shift.

"Dignus pride themselves in offering diverse and responsive support enabling us to cater for individuals who may display behaviours that challenge, autism spectrum disorders, mental health problems, physical and sensory disabilities. Our aim is to create safe spaces for individuals, giving them the opportunities to grow at their own pace and become independent.

"Living with a learning disability or a mental health condition can be a challenge for both the individual and their support network. Dignus go the extra mile to ensure that everyone gets the best opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

"Once an individual has achieved a degree of independence and they choose to move from a registered care facility to their own home, we can provide a Supported Living service to help the individual on their journey to independence.

“Dignus are here to help enable the individual to do whatever they want to do, by providing them with the professional support they require. From abseiling, to trips to the zoo and everything in between, we’re here to make it happen.”

A nearby resident has objected to the plans however. They said: “My garden backs on to the car park of the old medical practice where i have raised decking and can easily view into the current car park and vice versa. Given the clients who will be living there who are advised to have ‘behaviours that challenge’ and the fact I have small children who live/and spend a vast majority of the time within the garden I can only express concern for our privacy if our garden can be easily looked into.

"I note that the accommodation can house eight residents and staff. Yet there is only going to be 10 allocated car parking spaces.

"I can only assume that professionals and visitors will continue to park on the roads which was a long standing issue for myself as a resident with having cars park outside my house all day/blocking my driveway. Parking was often reckless and unsafe due to none of the local area being double yellow lines therefore side streets such as mine became full daily.

"I also believe that on numerous occasions several care home facilities similar to this proposed plan have been put forward to Burntwood before, and it has been continually expressed that we do have a wide range of care facilities for vulnerable adults. This particular unit will be looking to house individuals with learning disabilities/difficulties as well as mental health conditions.

"In Burntwood alone we have two mental health facilities who provide sufficient housing (one a residential and nursing placement, the other supported living environment), now proposing a third is a considerable amount to propose in one small town less than a mile away from one another. I also believe it will decrease house value within the immediate local area due to the quiet side streets becoming more congested."

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