New lease of life for former Northampton care home that shut down twice

The former nursing home will convert to a centre for bespoke independent living for adults with learning disabilities
The former nursing home will convert to a centre for bespoke independent living for adults with learning disabilities

A former nursing home shut down twice in the last three years after being slammed by inspectors will find a new lease of life as a supported living centre for vulnerable adults.

The former Kingsley Nursing Home, on Kingsley Road, will now convert to apartments for 15 adults with learning disabilities and offer them an independent place to live.

The change of use was approved by Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday evening (March 19).

The home has a chequered recent past, having shut down twice under different operators in the last three years alone after successive ‘inadequate’ ratings from the Care Quality Commission.

It first shut down when known as Kingsley Nursing Home in 2016, before relaunching under new owners as Trinity House Nursing Home in 2017. But the new home was short-lived, and closed after its poor CQC report was published in March 2018.

It’s hoped then that a change in use for the building under new operators could be third time lucky for the building.

Adam Renn, from applicants Supported Living Homes Ltd, told councillors that he had started the company with his wife to offer ‘bespoke homes’ that allowed vulnerable people to live independently.

And Shaun Bennett, service manager for commissioning at Northamptonshire County Council, spoke in favour of the scheme.

He said: “We have a list of about 75 adults who require supported living and the purpose of the scheme is to enable them to have greater independence.

“The people who move in will be vulnerable people with learning disabilities. Some live with elderly parents who can no longer keep up with their needs.

“We will be housing 15 people from the list of 75. We will be ensuring that the design and layout is suitable and we will also be selecting a care provider. We will also be responsible for placing people in the scheme and we will work very closely with NBC in doing so.

“We have a housing association who will be managing the property itself for maintenance, and the care provider will be managing things for the needs of the patient.”

But the plans have not gone down well with some immediate neighbours to the site at 18-20 Kingsley Road, which looks onto the Racecourse.

Two letters of objection were submitted to the council, mostly complaining about potential noise concerns.

Councillor Jane Birch had originally called the application in regarding these concerns, but ended up voting for the scheme after concerns were addressed by the applicants, who have proposed to soundproof the building.

She said: “I would like to say a big thank you, as there has been a huge number of concerns from neighbours, but they have been dealt with professionally by the applicants. So I’m delighted this will be going ahead, as it is something that is greatly needed.”

Planning chairman Councillor Brian Oldham added: “With the applicants sorting out the noise insulation, I’m happy to support this proposal.”

And Councillor Arthur McCutcheon said: “This is a very good use of the building.”

The change of use will see the number of occupants drop. The previous care homes supported 23 people, but the new supported living centre will only accommodate 15 people, plus staff.