A PLAN for £1.2 million project on a former workhouse infirmary in Romsey is set to be approved by civic chiefs.

The proposal is to convert Hayter House, in Hayter Gardens, into a home for three children aged between 12 and 17.

On July 12, Hampshire County Council will meet to discuss the funding for the project, with the total being £1.2 million.

The building will provide three self-contained flats, day and night-time accommodation for support staff as well as shared space for the children including a family kitchen, dining and education room. The existing gardens will be made more secure and parking will be provided for seven cars.

The site was most recently operating as an adults day centre and a registry office, but has been sitting vacant.

Cllr Mark Cooper said: “As the local county councillor I was consulted about the use of the building by HCC’s children’s services at an early stage. I know Hayter House well as in earlier years it was part of Nightingale Surgery where my wife, Dr Tippett, was a GP.

“My main concern was how the use as a children’s home would conflict with the life quality of nearby residents who are mostly elderly.

“As Hayter House will contain just three small flats for three teenage children and there will be on site 24 hour supervision by adult carers the impact on neighbours should be minimal. Fears that Hayter House will attract other teenagers to gather in the area are ill founded. The on-site supervisors should see to that. The last thing teenagers want to do is gather where there are adults present.

“It is an excellent re-use of an attractive building. It was originally the Infirmary for the local workhouse and is very much part of Romsey’s social history. But more to the point, it gives a stable supervised environment for young people who would otherwise be difficult to accommodate. By investing in young people who may not have the life advantages of most of Romsey’s young people the county will help turn their lives around to the benefit of society as a whole.”

Cllr Nick Adams-King said: “Finding homes for vulnerable children and young adults is an ever increasing challenge and using private agencies to provide that support can not only be prohibitively expensive but also see young people placed outside of the county. This therefore is a positive proposal to help address the issue. I’ve seen at first hand the excellent support the County Council’s Children’s Social Care team provide and I’m sure this new facility will be a positive addition to that provision.”

READ MORE: Plans for former workhouse Hayter House in Romsey to be home for children

It is owned by Hampshire County Council and the application was sent by Peter Colenutt.

The building was originally part of Romsey Union Workhouse, an institution that was first founded in the late 18th century. Hayter House was constructed in 1870 and was used as the infirmary for the workhouse.

On the planning statement, it said: “The new children’s home will be a regulated provision (inspected by Ofsted) for up to three young people who have significant mental health difficulties (diagnosed or not) whose behaviour makes placing alongside others very challenging.

“They require a skilled staff team to provide them with intensive therapeutic input in a managed environment until such time as they have stabilised and are able to share accommodation with other young people, return home or move onto more independent living.”

No public comments in support or objecting to the plans have been submitted to Test Valley Borough Council.

To view the application online, search for 22/01483/HCC3S on the council's planning portal.

Hampshire Council Council will decide on whether the funding should be approved at the decision day on July 12.

A message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support.

Subscribing means you have unrestricted access to the latest news and reader rewards - all with an advertising-light website.

Don't take my word for it – subscribe here to see for yourself.

Looking to advertise an event? Then check out our free events guide.

Want to keep up with the latest news and join in the debate? You can find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.