Plans for 54-bedroom low secure mental health unit in Gwersyllt are submitted

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

PROPOSALS for a new mental health unit in Gwersyllt have been submitted.

A ‘hybrid’ planning application received by Wrexham Council requests permission to demolish vacant buildings on land off Mold Road in order to build a 54 bedroom low secure unit.

For the same site it also requests outline permission for the creation of a housing development of nine detached and semi-detached three and four bedroom houses, as well as 27 one to two bedroom apartments.

A design and access statement submitted on behalf of the applicant ASC Realestate Investments Ltd explains the accommodation proposed as part of the low secure unit comprises four parts: an assessment treatment unit (ATU), a low secure unit, amenity accommodation and staff/service accommodation.

Describing the ATU, the document states it is ‘exclusively for adults aged 18 and over who have experienced a crisis/complex needs’.

It continues: “The service will provide a combined programme of enhanced therapeutic and clinical support which incorporates flexible and creative care pathway solutions for individuals who have likely experienced varying degrees of difficulty or crisis in previous care and support settings or for those who may have suffered a crisis at home.”

It goes on to state the low secure unit will be for adults aged 18 and over and will provide care and treatment for people with mental health problems.

The amenity accommodation would provide a central landscaped courtyard, a cafe and computer area, a sports hall and activity rooms with dedicated external gardens.

The document also states the low secure unit layout is designed to provide an uplifting environment, which is ‘light and airy’with a high standard of accommodation.

Regarding security measures, it adds: “The building is designed to comply with all of the security standards relating to low secure hospitals, which includes security to prevent escape, as well as design features to keep residents secure in terms of health and wellbeing, which also involves managing and minimising the risk of self harm.”

One of the proposed measures includes an ‘airlock’ security control lobby through which all residents, staff and visitors have to pass when entering and leaving the building.

Describing the condition of the site currently, the statement adds: “The site is now disused, and in a poor condition, in addition to which the previous uses of the land have introduced some level of contamination, which will be addressed with a comprehensive remediation package, as part of the new development.”

Regarding the outline application for the proposed new housing development, the statement reads: “The level of care required for the needs of the residents has been addressed in the design of the low secure unit, which will also require a relatively high level of staffing, providing valuable employment opportunities for the local area.

“The Low Secure Unit will address the shortage of this type of accommodation, while the housing will offer residential opportunities for the local community, together with key worker accommodation.

“The buildings have been designed to sit well within landscaped gardens and to maximise the existing levels and generous green buffers the site has to offer, creating a peaceful environment for residents and reducing the overall impact on neighbouring sites.”

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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