Antiques business could become village’s first retirement home near Heysham
If passed, the change-of-use plans would bring the first care home to the village of Middleton, allowing residents to remain in the community.
For the past 30 years, Newfield House in Middleton, which includes the former ICI office block, built in 1938, has been used by Mr and Mrs Goulding for their accommodation and as a storage warehouse and office for their business international d’Antiquités (GG Antiques) specializing in furniture for the American and Japanese markets.
The building is a fine example of art deco architecture although it is not listed or part of a conservation area.
The planning application states: “The candidates are going into semi-retirement and ending the activity so that they no longer need the building to store their antiquities.
“They will continue to live there as their home for 30 years.
“However, they would like to reuse the building for a small retirement home for the elderly, of which there are many in the area, in order to make full use of the building.
“The building is situated on a nice plot extending to the front and side of the building.
“There is existing parking for around 20 cars at the front of the building, and room for more if needed.
“It is likely that around twenty residents could be accommodated.
“The request therefore only implies a change of use.
“The only design changes would be internal to the general layout, although many parts divisions lend themselves to instant conversion to the proposed use.
“Existing vehicle access to the site will be utilized.
“The parking spaces in front of the building will be retained for the proposed use.
“The proposal would retain the site’s employment status and increase overall employment at the site over the existing one.”
Several letters of support for the proposed care home have been received from applicants, including one which read: “I think the proposal is a great idea for the local community and will generate a number of jobs.
“I live in Middleton and have had family here for over 40 years and many elderly people have had to leave the village when they are placed in residential care.
“It would be great if our local residents had a place to live that they know if and when they need care and can no longer fend for themselves so they can feel at home.”
The planning statement provided to councilors states: ‘The proposed use would provide a small care home to facilitate an aging population and benefit the local community and support the health and wellbeing needs of the communities in accordance with the policy framework of national planning. An aging population will see the number of seniors continue to increase and it is important to plan early to meet their needs throughout their lives.
No decision has yet been made regarding the change of use from an antiques business to a retirement home.