Go-ahead for care village plans on former school site
AFORMER school will be demolished to make way for a £35m care village.
The site of Birkdale School for Hearing Impaired Children has been plagued by arson and vandalism, and attracted squatters and travellers since the school closed in 2003.
Sefton Council has given the go-ahead for a development on the site, which will provide accommodation for more than 100 people and will feature a 74-bed village, divided into six households, providing 24-hour care and nursing support.
The village, which will be developed by Octopus Healthcare, will also offer 30 one and two-bedroom independent living apartments, together with a range of facilities open to the public, including a bistro, hair salon, exercise studio and function rooms.
The fate of the site on Lancaster Road – a stone’s throw from Royal Birkdale golf course – has long been a hot topic among residents and councillors.
Footage captured by an urban explorer in 2016 showed extensive fire damage, as well as smashed windows, torndown railings and fencing, and pulled-down ceilings, with the majority of walls covered in offensive graffiti.
Cabinet member for planning and building control, Cllr Daren Veidman, said: “We have worked extremely hard to secure a sustainable and sensitive use for the former school.
“The successful application will seek to secure the building’s removal from the council’s listed buildings ‘at risk’ register, while also contributing to the removal of West Birkdale conservation area from the national ‘at risk’ register.
“We look forward to working closely with Octopus Healthcare as they conserve, restore and develop this fantastic site.”
Development director at Octopus Richard Dooley added: “Being able to breathe new life into this iconic building and really giving it a purpose for the next
100 years is a great achievement.
“The environment we are trying to create will be a real testament to the future of elderly care.”
The new care village will include a bistro, hair salon, exercise studio and function rooms, which will be open to the public
The former deaf school in Birkdale has been plagued by vandals and arsonists
Councillors hope the development will help remove the West Birkdale conservation area from the ‘at risk’ register