Burntwood Health Centre. Picture: Google Streetview
The former Burntwood Health Centre. Picture: Google Streetview

A former doctors’ surgery in Burntwood could make way for a care and rehabilitation centre for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions.

Plans to demolish the former Burntwood Health Centre building at Hudson Drive have been submitted to Lichfield District Council by Dignus Healthcare.

If the proposals are approved a two-storey rehabilitation building would provide eight accommodation units, while a single-storey day unit building would provide two accommodation units.

A planning statement put forward as part of the application said:

“The health centre operators have moved out of the premises in the last couple of years and the building and site has become vacant.

“Dignus has identified the site as being suitable to provide accommodation for people living with a learning disability or a mental health condition, due to its suitable site size, and proximity to existing established facilities such as local shops, and demand locally for such a facility.

“The development will create approximately 14 equivalent full-time posts and the service will operate with a shift pattern of 7am-3pm, 3pm-10pm and 10pm-7pm. There will be six staff on the day shift and two on the night shift.

“Dignus pride themselves in offering diverse and responsive support enabling us to cater for individuals who may display behaviours that challenge, autism spectrum disorders, mental health problems, physical and sensory disabilities.

“Our aim is to create safe spaces for individuals, giving them the opportunities to grow at their own pace and become independent.

“Living with a learning disability or a mental health condition can be a challenge for both the individual and their support network. Dignus go the extra mile to ensure that everyone gets the best opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

“Once an individual has achieved a degree of independence and they choose to move from a registered care facility to their own home, we can provide a Supported Living service to help the individual on their journey to independence.”

Planning statement

A nearby resident has objected to the plans, however. They said:

“My garden backs on to the car park of the old medical practice where I have raised decking and can easily view into the current car park and vice versa.

“Given the clients who will be living there who are advised to have ‘behaviours that challenge’ and the fact I have small children who spend a vast majority of the time within the garden, I can only express concern for our privacy if our garden can be easily looked into.

“I note that the accommodation can house eight residents and staff. Yet there is only going to be ten allocated car parking spaces. I can only assume that professionals and visitors will continue to park on the roads which was a long standing issue for myself as a resident with having cars park outside my house all day, blocking my driveway.

“In Burntwood alone we have two mental health facilities who provide sufficient housing, now proposing a third is a considerable amount to propose in one small town less than a mile away from one another.

“I also believe it will decrease house value within the immediate local area due to the quiet side streets becoming more congested.”

Objection from a local resident

The Hudson Drive surgery closed following the construction of the nearby Greenwood Health Centre.

A previous plan to build housing on the site was withdrawn last year.

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  1. There is nothing in Burntwood that supports people who do NOT have the mentioned illnesses, such as getting about with compromised issues. Hospital and Doctors visits in a wheelchair is one example.

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