A former care home which ceased operating because of staffing issues during the Covid pandemic could become a new apartment building containing 16 units.

The old Deerplay Rest Home in Heald Lane, Weir, Bacup, used to be a chapel and also has a Sunday School building attached to the rear. 

If planning permission is granted there would be 16 apartments and 25 parking spaces created.

Eight of the apartments would be in the current care home building, consisting of eight separate two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments with open plan living/dining-kitchen facilities.

These alterations are in the main internal, and the existing building would convert with relative ease.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The remaining eight apartments would be built at the rear, with plans submitted to Rossendale Borough Council in May proposing to partially demolish the Sunday School building to reduce its depth and create eight parking spaces under the building and 10 outside.

There would then be two ground floor apartments built in the old Sunday School, three at first floor level and three within the roof space with a new dormer.

Overall the proposed new combined buildings will provide five one-bedroom and eleven two-bedroom apartments with bathroom and open plan kitchen-dining-lounge accommodation on three levels.

The site is not occupied at the present time, but was recently purchased by MSC and James Grace Developments Ltd from the previous owner who ran the Care Home facility.

Lancashire Telegraph: The former Sunday School building at the rearThe former Sunday School building at the rear

A statement submitted with the plans said: "The chapel building was built in the early 1900s although there is an 1867 datestone outside, but this may have come from an earlier building.

"Conversion to a care home is believed to have occurred in the 1980s with the insertion of a new first floor.

"The tall windows in the side elevations were partially blocked up and new white UPVC windows inserted. There are 19 bedrooms plus communal areas.

"The former Sunday School at the rear has not been brought back into use and would require complete refurbishment. Other outbuildings would need to be demolished.

"When it was built the chapel must have been surrounded by open land. There are now detached and semi-detached houses to the sides and rear.

"They must have been built at approximately the same time as the conversion was carried out.

"The use as a care home ceased as a result of the Covid pandemic.

"The first lockdown made it impossible to get staff who would be prepared to put up with the restrictions.

"Residents had to be moved elsewhere and the business became unviable.

"An alternative use for the building must be found."

Lancashire Telegraph:

The 25 car parking spaces would be accessed from an existing point on Heald Lane.

While the former care home had no parking spaces for staff and visitors, who were forced to park on surrounding roads, the creation of these new spaces would improve the traffic situation in the area.

Two electric vehicle charging points will be installed and provision has been made for the storage of bins for rubbish and recycling.

There is limited open space about the building but there is a public recreation ground opposite.

A planning condition is anticipated for the submission and approval of landscaping details.

A decision will be made by the council's planning committee in the next few months.