PLANS to refurbish part of a sheltered housing block have been drawn up.

Proposals have been sent in to the council to create a partial change of use of Alexander Court in Thatto Heath to create eight assisted living apartments for people with learning disabilities and autism.

A design and access statement, drawn up by planning agents Halsall Lloyd Partnership, on behalf of the applicant, says: "Alexander Court is an independent living scheme situated in Thatto Heath, St Helens.

"The building is a purpose built accommodation building which comprises both a single storey sheltered housing element and a two storey independent living element.

"All units on the ground floor of both elements are currently unoccupied with only the apartments on the upper floor in occupation".

It adds: "This application seeks permission for internal re-modelling works to the entirety of the ground floor of the building.

"The building will continue to consist of two separate elements on completion".

Alexander Court Pic: Google Streetview

Alexander Court Pic: Google Streetview

The plans state: "The current single storey sheltered housing element will be altered internally to create eight studio apartments which will provide specialist accommodation for adults with learning disabilities and autism.

"This will require combining several of the existing bedrooms to form a single larger studio apartment.

"This element of the building will be refurbished to a very high standard and provided with specialist equipment as necessary to provide the appropriate level of care for the proposed tenants.

"Part of the ground floor of this element will be offered over as communal spaces including a communal lounge, kitchen and dining room as well as staff office."

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They add: "To provide additional space, we propose to construct a single storey extension to the rear of the building which will contain the dining room area.

"The second element consists of the ground floor of the independent living accommodation, which will be re-configured internally.

"The units are currently laid out as cluster-living apartments with four bedrooms sharing a single communal lounge.

"The proposals include to combine a number of bedrooms to form a single self-contained apartment. The proposals include to create eight one bedroom apartments and two two bedroom apartments.

"There are no works proposed to the units on the upper floor as they are currently occupied".

The planning application is on standard consultation to the public until Monday, March 8.

A determination deadline on the plans has been set for Monday, April 12.