A building in the grounds of a Herefordshire castle could become a children’s home if a new plan is successful.

Kinsman Residential Homes of Merthyr Tydfil has applied to convert the former office building, currently unoccupied, on the Eastnor Castle estate near Ledbury.

The company’s agent says in a supporting statement: “My applicant has the full support of the estate owner in this application.”

Herefordshire is known to have an above-average rate of children in care. The letter puts this at 336 children in residential care as of November 2020, and says the county council “are looking for much needed local quality children’s homes”.


The “long-term, non-institutional, family-style living” at the home will help up to four children aged 10-17 “recover from experiences of trauma and significant social disruption”, it says.

Up to 10 members of qualified staff, “to be recruited from the local area where possible”, would operate a 24-hour rota system ensuring two staff would be on-site at any one time.

The building itself would “retain its residential appearance” and would generate no more traffic than a large family house, with staff encouraged to car-share or cycle.

“Unfortunately, the perception of a children’s home can occasionally be pre-determined and negative,” the statement adds.

The children’s behaviour “may occasionally need to be managed”, it concedes.

“Unlike most parents, the staff team are professionally trained to manage any such behaviours with an emphasis on effective and early intervention in the de-escalation of any such scenarios,” it says.

“Our children are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.”

Comments on the application, numbered 224169, can be made until February 23.

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