Supported living flats to be built near specialist college in Gobowen

A new block of 16 flats is set to be built near a specialist college in Shropshire.

How the apartment block could look
How the apartment block could look

Under plans approved by Shropshire Council, four disused cottages near Derwen College in Gobowen will be knocked down and a modern apartment block constructed in their place.

While the scheme has been put forward by a private developer, the college has expressed support for the plans.

Twmpath Cottages were previously owned by the college and used as student accommodation, but were sold after being deemed no longer suitable.

The apartments will be managed by a care provider, and the facility will also include offices and staff accommodation.

Occupancy will be restricted to students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who attend Derwen College and other educational establishments within Shropshire, and, more generally, people assessed by the council as having care and support needs.

Twmpath Cottages will be demolished

A report by planning officer Mark Perry says: “The council’s social services team have identified that in addition to students currently enrolled on courses at the college there are also residents who currently live within the college’s own accommodation but have long since finished their education.

“The ambition is that the development proposed will allow such residents to move into independent living accommodation but they will still have the benefit of belonging to their familiar community which provides them with support and social life.

“The additional rooms proposed are to allow a care provider to be on site and even provide sleep in support if they are supporting individuals that have high level needs.

“The council’s social services team advise that the proposal is not a care home, and that it is something that is strategically needed in Shropshire.

“The development will allow the older college cohort to move on and to provide accommodation for younger individuals who are looking at college placements but would like to live independently off campus.

“The scheme will also offer a step-down opportunity for individuals who have been placed in residential care and support their move to more independent living.”

The site lies next to one of the entrances to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.

The report concludes: “The location of the proposed development is in an area of open countryside where an unencumbered dwelling would not be acceptable.

“However the proposed development will meet an identified need for those in education with care and support requirements.”

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