Plans to bring former Anglesea Heights care home back into use as a nursery
- Credit: Simon Parker
Ipswich School has submitted plans to use a vacant Anglesea Heights building as an early years nursery, addressing a need for extra space brought on by Covid restrictions.
Bourne House, a part of the former Bupa residential care home, was purchased by the school in 2018 and has sat vacant ever since.
It is part of the Anglesea Heights site which comprises several buildings arranged around the old Victorian hospital.
The main building, a landmark Grade II listed structure which sits 40 metres south west of Bourne House, was purchased by Ipswich School in January 2019.
The application for a change of use of the ground floor of Bourne House was submitted on February 9, in the hopes of bringing the building back into operation and offering space for 25 more children.
The statement by Boyer Planning says: "Ipswich School have identified a need for additional space to meet the changing needs of young children in light of new working practices and arrangements brought about through the Coronavirus pandemic.
"Social distancing measures dictate that the existing school has a reduced capacity and therefore to meet the current needs for early years, additional space is required.
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"Due to the age of the children, the change of use will involve the creation of a safe and secure environment in which children can learn and play through experiences supervised and supported by staff of Ipswich School.
"A combination of indoor and outdoor areas will be used to complement the existing provision of space that the Prep School already uses (on the existing school site)."
The school plans to install toilet and washing facilities in the nursery, as well as technology to aid learning and development.
Outdoors, a canopy area would provide additional learning space and shelter, with paving and artificial grass.
The rest of the building is to remain vacant for now, with locked doors separating the early years facility from old bedrooms.
The school's hope is that bringing part of Bourne House back into use for early year’s provision will ensure it has a viable future as part of Ipswich.