Shropshire Council abandons plan to turn village house into children's home

Plans to turn a five-bedroom village house into a children’s home have been dropped by Shropshire Council.

Shropshire Council bought Yardley House in Ruyton-XI-Towns in March 2019
Shropshire Council bought Yardley House in Ruyton-XI-Towns in March 2019

The authority bought Yardley House in Ruyton-XI-Towns in March last year for £535,000, as part of a £2 million project to increase the number of residential children’s homes in the county.

The property was intended to accommodate four young people aged 11 to 17, with two sleep-in carers and a third carer present during the day.

But the planning application for change of use was withdrawn and the council has now revealed it intends to sell the property on.

The disposal will be approved by the authority’s cabinet at a meeting on Monday, January 18.

A report to cabinet by by Steve Law, strategic asset manager, says: “The domestic property was purchased as part of the children services residential growth project, agreed at cabinet in February 2019.

“Following more detailed appraisal and planning work undertaken post-acquisition, children services took a decision to withdraw its planning application for proposed change of use with regards to the property.

“This decision was taken in the best interests of the children and staff for whom the living and working environment would not be acceptable.”

Mr Law says other council departments have been consulted on alternative uses for the building, but none have been identified.

The report says: “The proposal is for the property to be marketed for sale on the open market as soon as possible. The property is currently empty and has had cosmetic works undertaken to make the property more marketable.”

Yardley House was the third purchase made by the council as part of the growth project, with the first two already successfully converted into residential children’s homes.

The planning application attracted 23 objections and one letter of support before it was withdrawn.

The report adds: “Due to the short time frame between acquisition and intended disposal the council is expected to fully recover all costs relating to the acquisition of the property.

“The expected capital receipt arising from disposal will be re-invested in alternative suitable accommodation and options are currently being considered for the best route of acquisition, be it either off market purchase or self-build.

“A full business case will be established once the preferred option is selected that meets the full criteria and is within the budget limitations.”

Cabinet is asked to declare Yardley House surplus to requirements and authorise its disposal.

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