An application asking to change the use of a six-bed detached house into a children’s home, for a maximum of four children, has been submitted to the council.

Last month, Lisa Eman of Associated Wellbeing in Darwen, lodged an application for a Lawful Development Certificate with Pendle Borough Council seeking permission to change Hague House Old Stone, Trough Lane, Kelbrook in Barnoldswick into a children's home.

If successful, the plans would also result in two carers sleeping overnight at the premises, working on a rota basis.

The detached property was sold earlier this year for around £675,000, with the sale still ‘subject to conditions’.

The application form states: “It is accepted that the proposed use falls within Use Class C2 and hence the change of use from C3 is not an automatic permitted change.

“However, it is nevertheless argued that there is little material difference between the current and proposed use meaning that planning permission is not required.”

Associated Wellbeing already has a four-bed CQC regulated inpatient hospital unit in Blackburn, and has been operational for three years.

Changing Hague House into a children’s home would create a step-down property from the hospital, which specialises in mental health, so young people can move back into day-to-day life.

The statement went on: “The carers, working on a rota basis, would effectively live at the dwelling house to provide 24-hour care, as a single household.

“Facilities such as the bathroom/WC, kitchen and living rooms, would be shared and the living mode would be communal.

“The comings and goings associated with the use would not be materially different from a typical residential household.

“And the proposed use is to provide a stable home environment for the occupants as their main and sole residence and that the length of stay is generally more than temporary or passing.

“It would not be a ‘half way’ house or provide overnight emergency lodgings for example.

“However, in any event, the courts have provided some assistance in determining the significance of there being a commercial factor to a residential use or an arrangement where the occupants have generally only a limited period of stay.”

The application was submitted to the council on July 14 and residents have until August 10 to comment on the proposals.