A PLAN to create badly-needed staff accommodation at a care home in Bere Alston has been resubmitted to West Devon Borough Council.

The owners of West View Care Home are looking to convert a building currently used occasionally as a gym and for hobbies, saying that the acute shortage of rentable accommodation on the Bere peninsula means it is hard to recruit staff. The plan, app number 3507/22/FUL, is a resubmission of 2388/22/FUL.

A statement from Graeme Barclay Architect, on behalf of the applicant, said: ‘The applicant urgently needs to find accommodation for full-time care staff working at West View Care Home. The current high cost of rental property in the Bere Peninsula has made it difficult to recruit staff.

‘The applicant needs to employ staff who live locally due to the need to cover anti-social shifts in the care home. The change is only required on a temporary basis, for up to two years, and the building would revert to a fitness/hobby room after. The converted accommodation will be a one-bedroom studio flat, with rent set at an affordable level. Currently there are no rentable properties within reasonable distance of the care home under £1,000 per calendar month.’

The owners of the residential home state that their priority is to ‘ensure the safety and security of the elderly in the applicant’s care, by providing full staffing for the care home’. ‘If affordable rented accommodation becomes available locally, the applicant will revert the building to use as a facility for the elderly, as before, but because the urgent need for staff accommodation, and because no works are necessary to change the use of the building, the applicant has started to use the property in anticipation of obtaining an approval. It is hoped the local planning authority will understand the need for this.’

Meanwhile, in Northlew, there is an application for change of use of land to site a shepherd’s hut for holiday accommodation (3329/22/FUL) on a farm, Lower Cruft. A statement said: ‘This will provide a diversified income to the holding and will support the wider business and allow it to become more resilient going forward. The proposed site is situated within two miles to the southeast of the village of Northlew. Access to the site area is via a public highway which passes through the properties at Cruft. Within the proposal, there will be a separate form of access off the highway to the shepherd’s hut, to allow the existing access slightly to the north to be retained for agricultural use only.’ The holiday business will subsidise the farming operation, which sees 400 cattle and sheep grazed year-round.