Plans unveiled to build care village at site of former school

Plans unveiled to build care village at site of former school

by Tom Martin (November 2021)

PLANS to build a huge ‘care village’ at the site of the former Birkdale deaf school have been revealed.

Birkdale Retirement Village Ltd has applied to Sefton Council for permission to construct 147 ‘units’ to be based within six separate blocks at the Lancaster Road site.

The closed-down Birkdale School for Hearing Impaired Children, which is a Grade II listed building, will be incorporated into the plans and the sections that were destroyed by fire in 2010 will be rebuilt.

The planning application states: “The proposal for Birkdale is to provide a staged level of care and support on site. Residents may move to the village from the age of 55 and can enjoy either independent living apartments or assisted living suites where additional support is provided.

“There is a large demographic of older people who require new forms of sheltered and retirement housing. The demand is great for excellent spacial design that enhances quality of life for an aging population. Southport itself has one of the oldest populations in the North West which brings specific challenges for housing, health care and other services. Continued on page 2

“While not all older people need support or specialist accommodation, it is likely to increase demand for access to health and social care support and provision of additional ‘extra care’ accommodation. In recent years there has been a move away from the more traditional and institutional settings and building forms with increasing demand for more flexible accommodation.”

The plans will be welcomed by many local residents, who have previously complained that the former Birkdale Deaf School is a regular target for vandals.

The building is a favoured spot for local teenagers to congregate at night, given its semi-remote location on Lancaster Road.

The Champion understands that the building attracts a number of trespassers each year due to the fact that some of the derelict classrooms have been left in the same state as they were when they were occupied, with drawings, text books and coffee cups on tables giving an eerie abandoned appearance.

Birkdale School was established in 1904 as a private boarding school owned by The Terra Nova School, now in Cheshire.

In 1939 the building was taken over by the Central National Registration Office (CNRO) and used throughout World War Two.

The building was unused after the war until it was bought by the Liverpool School for the Partially Deaf in 1948, the school remained open until 2003. In 1999 the building was listed for its scale and detailing, but in 2010 was damaged by a fire and has since been unoccupied.

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