Details of proposed Harrogate children’s home revealed
Last updated Apr 11, 2024
A section of Ashgarth Court in Harrogate. Pic: Google Maps.

Further details about plans to convert a Harrogate house into a children’s home have been revealed.

It comes after Jolyon McKay tabled a change of use application to North Yorkshire Council last month.

It outlined plans to turn Oak Back, a house on Ashgarth Court near Ashville College, into C2 classified housing – which refers to residential accommodation for people in need of care.

The Stray Ferret reported on the plans at the time of submission, which generated some concern among social media followers.

However, an email from the applicant to the case officer was yesterday posted to the planning portal, which paints a clearer picture of what the children’s home would involve if approved.

The applicant said he wanted the home to be a “nurturing environment” for children aged 11 to 18.

The letter added the staff already involved have a “wealth of expertise to ensure the highest standard of care”, adding:

“We have a healthcare recruitment professional with over three decades of experience across various specialties… with a proven track record of successfully managing care agencies covering a wide spectrum of needs…she is committed to delivering exceptional support.”

The document said a retired social worker with “over 40 years of dedicated service in children and young people’s social work” would also be employed, as well as a registered nurse with “extensive experience in caring for young people with complex needs, as well as mental health concerns”.

Mr McKay also said the home aimed to “collaborate closely with local authorities and neighbouring councils” and focus on recruiting local care staff.

The children’s home would be Ofsted registered, the document said, adding it would work to comply with “stringent regulations”. It added:

“We will meticulously craft policies covering various scenarios, including measures for missing children, such as implementing a comprehensive missing persons grab pack.”

The applicant says the overarching goal was to create a “family-style placement home that fosters a sense of belonging and security for the children” by “steering away” from a clinical environment.

Mr McKay said the home’s commitment to safety and supervision was “unwavering”. There would always be a minimum of one staff member present to ensure the wellbeing of the children and maintain a “peaceful environment that respects the neighbourhood”, he added.

In a separate covering letter submitted with the proposal, the applicant said the home would “remain looking and feeling as if it were an average home”.

North Yorkshire Council will make a decision on the application at a later date.

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