A council is soon to decide on whether to approve plans to convert a troubled former care home into 14 apartments.

An initial application to demolish the rear extensions and convert the run-down Belgarth Nursing Home in Wheatley Lane Road, Barrowford, into 14 flats was submitted to Pendle Council in December 2021, with the consultation period ending this week.

The application proposes to reconfigure part of the roof and extensions to the existing building following the demolition works, with applicant, Omar Ahmad, of Belgarth Care Homes Ltd, seeking to transform the former care home into one one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom, and one three-bedroom flats.

There are six car parking spaces on offer at the site currently, with the plans proposing for an additional 12 spaces to be created, increasing the number to 18.

Earlier this month, the owners of the care home were ordered to pay more than £7,300 for failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice.

Belgarth Care Homes Limited and Sage Care Homes Limited pleaded guilty to all the charges at Burnley Magistrates' Court after Pendle Council took them to court over the dilapidated condition and security of the former nursing home.

The council had described the building as "both dangerous and an eyesore" and said it was plagued by anti-social behaviour, including people breaking windows and climbing onto a roof, causing nearby residents grave concerns.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust was consulted on the proposals for the development of the site and a statement from the Trust read: “These dwellings will support a population increase of 14 (assuming an average of one person per dwelling) all of whom will need to access health services.

“It follows that without the provision of additional facilities and services it will not be possible to accommodate the health impact of the development within the existing provision which is available.

“Whilst the Trust will, in due course, be able to obtain funding to meet the needs of the population which arises from the development, this funding will not be in place for approximately three years.

“Once in place, the funding will not be provided retrospectively, and as such the impact on the Trust for the initial period will not be met from any alternative source of funding.

“We therefore request a contribution for this development in the sum of £10,387.00.

“We would request such a contribution should be paid to the council under the terms of the s.106 agreement and should then be paid to the Trust.

“We would ask that any contribution be paid in full prior to first occupation of the development to allow for the necessary service provision to be in place to meet the demand which will arise as soon as the development is occupied.”

Lancashire County Council’s schools planning team were also consulted and requested contributions be made by the applicant to support any need for additional school places.

It stated: “If the education contribution assessment identifies the need for a contribution and/or land to be provided, Lancashire County Council is, in effect, objecting to the application.

“A developer contribution to deliver school places and/or land meeting the school site requirements as detailed in the assessments, including indexation will, in most cases, overcome the objection.”

The county council’s highways department has also raised concerns and objected in relation to the number of car parking spaces provided and increase in pedestrian footfall.

A spokesperson from the department said: “Our concerns are regarding the intensification of use with this proposal and with the shortfall of eight car parking spaces.

"We would not support any overflowing of car parking onto Warren Drive or Wheatley Lane Road close to the junction.

“There will be an increase in vehicle movements with this proposal which will increase the risk to other road users due to any overflow of parking due to this proposal.

“At the time of my site visit there was already an element of on-street parking on Warren Drive opposite the development site.

"Additional overspill car parking from the development is likely to result in double parking or parking close to the junction of Wheatley Lane Road.

“Eighteen parking spaces are proposed within the curtilage of the site. Under the adopted parking and access standards a development such as this would be expected to provide 26 parking spaces. This is a shortfall of eight spaces.

“A shortfall in parking would not be acceptable. We would request the number of bedrooms be reduced and extra car parking spaces be created in order to meet parking standards.”

However, Barrowford Parish Council said they would support the application in principle, stating that the former nursing home has become a “magnet for vandals and teenagers and a blight on local residents” which can only be addressed by making use of the site for the future.

However, the Parish Council iterated: “The retention of this large local landowners dwelling is a step in the right direction although the number of dwellings could be argued as excessive.

“The Parish Council would support this application if the applicant commenced work in a timely manner as local residents have suffered the effects of the derelict building for several years and ask could this be enforced by planning condition.”

A decision will be made by Pendle Council’s planning department in the coming months.