A FIRE-HIT former care home is set to be demolished in order for up to 82 new homes to be built on its site - two years after locals warned its structure could collapse having been ravaged by arson attacks.

Applicant Anthony Lidster, whose family business owns the Belmont facility, off Lamb Lane, is expected to be granted outline planning permission from Barnsley Council on Tuesday.

The derelict building’s plight - which has long been hit by fires - resulted in the council and police threaten to pursue court action against the firm due to worries about youngsters entering its weakened structure.

A pre-application enquiry was subsequently made in April last year, a planning report said, which reveals a disused farmhouse near the site - known as Garden House Farm - will also be flattened.
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Planning board members are now expected to give the nod to the Lidster family, paving the way for the site to be cleared and offered to would-be developers.

However, 14 people have objected to the scheme and the potential housing estate, citing increased pressure on roads, reduced safety, loss of privacy and more noise - despite others campaigning for its demolition.

The report said: “Belmont consists of a main two-storey pitched roof building with single-storey, flat-roofed extensions.

“It has been vacant for a number of years and has been subject to vandalism and numerous fires. Given the state of the building and safety concerns, an enforcement notice has been served on the owners to demolish the building.

“Part of this application relates to the demolition in order to comply with the enforcement notice. As such the outline proposal is considered to accord with policies and guidelines and is recommended for approval accordingly.”

The building was erected in the late 1960s and it was originally used as a residential facility for elderly people but in June 1999, Barnsley Council’s asylum and migration service welcomed 180 humanitarian evacuees from Kosovo to the building which was then called Belmont Induction Centre.

Its last use was as a care home but since its closure several years ago, it’s been a priority patrol spot for police officers responsible for the area due to long-running complaints from councillors and residents.

According to figures, more than a dozen blazes deemed ‘serious’ have taken place since January 2019.

A planning statement on behalf of the Lidsters added: “The proposed dwellings will respect the heights of the adjacent existing buildings.

“The remaining properties to the southern boundary are bungalows but due to the levels on the site being lower, two-storey houses would be suitable in scale in these locations.

“We have considered the existing vehicular entrance to Belmont and have discounted it and propose a new entrance, further along Back Lane. We also propose a footpath along the north side of Back Lane.”