Express & Star

Historic Wolverhampton lodge to reopen as children’s care home

Plans to convert a lodge in the grounds of a historic Wolverhampton building into a children’s care home have been given the green light.

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The property

The vacant former gatehouse for Beckminster House, in Birches Barn Road, Penn Fields, was previously used as a teacher training facility and office.

The Wolverhampton Council-run property was built in the mid-1800s as a luxury residence for ironmaster John William Sparrow. In 1923 it was converted into a school for children with special education needs. During the Second World War it was used by the Home Guard and became Grade II listed 30 years ago.

Applicant Manpreet Pangli of GSP Developments Limited said: “This conversion will add a two-storey extension to the building and then it will be reopened as a residential care home for up to four children with learning disabilities, aged 8-17, living together as a single household.

“The property is detached and has a large garden area which will be a place for children and young adults to plant flowers and participate in activities. There will be four bedrooms on the first floor, all of which will be en-suite. Changes to the ground floor will see the introduction of a staff office, separate lounge and dining room, a games and sensory room and kitchen.

“Staff will not reside at the property but will work there on a 24-hour shift basis. The service will be registered and licensed by Ofsted and the home will be run by a manager who will also be Ofsted-registered. The wider staff team will be made up of senior and residential support workers,” she added.

Cathryn Greenway, commissioning manager for youth care home agency Bright Life Living said: “There are currently approximately 160 young people placed in residential care by Birmingham Children’s Trust across Birmingham, the West Midlands and nationally.

“We have engaged with the trust and indicated that they intend to apply to join the West Midlands Flexible Contracting Arrangement for the provision of placements in residential children’s homes.”