A former town pub next to Shipley Country Park could be turned into a school block for a new children’s home.
The plans have been put forward by Cambian Childcare Properties Ltd to Amber Valley Borough Council.
If approved by the borough council, the site at the former Country Park Tavern on Old Coppice Side, Marlpool, would become a schooling facility and four houses to provide homes for up to 16 children.
The former pub itself, which has been vacant for a decade, would become the school site.
An initial outline brief for the change of use of the pub site had been pitched by the firm in 2015 and approved by the borough council.
This includes the part demolition of one of the pub’s extensions to form a new access road.
Work on the access road and the children’s homes is under way.
This application aims to “develop on the strength” of the previous approval and detail the whole site plan, in particular the schooling block – contained within the former pub.
It will be decided by the borough council’s planning board in the coming months.
Cambian, founded in 2004, is one of the UK’s leading children’s specialist education and behavioural health service providers.
It looks after 2,100 children and employs more than 4,000 people across 224 residential facilities, specialist schools and fostering offices in England and Wales.
The firm intends to build a set of electronic gates and fencing at the access to the site, which would have eight car parking spaces close to the four homes and 19 spaces, including three for wheelchair users, close to the schooling block.
The school block would contain rooms for ICT, staff, science, medical check-ups, food technology, a projector, and art and design, along with two therapy rooms, a classroom, an outdoor play area and a kitchen garden.
Meanwhile each of the four homes would have a private garden and house four children and a member of staff.
There would also be a shared sensory garden.
Each house would have a lounge, dining room, kitchen, office, laundry room and medical area.
A report submitted with the application states: “The proposal makes an effective use of a site that has been disused for almost 10 years.
“It does not adversely impact upon the existing density of development in the area and it achieves a well-designed place for its users.
“The former public house, which is reduced in size by the part demolition and will be completely refurbished, is to be used predominantly for educational and administrative purposes.
“To its rear, separated by the parking provision are the four buildings, termed ‘houses’, which provide accommodation for the children in care at the development.
“The proximity of the Shipley Country Park forms an excellent backdrop to this accommodation, whilst screened, carefully laid out areas adjacent to the buildings provide private amenity spaces and a sensory garden.
“Substantial landscaping is provided within the rear boundary of the site to form a visual screen between the new development and adjacent existing housing, which with the fencing and gates, fosters security.
“This planning application seeks to develop on the strength of the previous planning application, ‘add value’ to the layout and render the development even more appropriate to its surroundings.”
Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service