Former Dagenham convent could become care home

The Sacred Heart Convent in Goresbrook Road, Dagenham

The Sacred Heart Convent in Goresbrook Road, Dagenham - Credit: Archant

A former convent built to support the families of Ford workers in Dagenham could be transformed into a 60-bed care home.

A planning application to convert and extend Sacred Heart convent, in Goresbrook Road, has been received by the council – two years after plans to demolish the building were rejected.

The proposed 1,871sq m development would provide space for 60 bedrooms together with dining areas, bathrooms, a kitchen, laundry and a main reception area.

Other facilities such as a coffee bar and beauty salon could also be installed.

Developers County Court Care could begin construction work in spring next year and open in 2017, if permission is granted.

Previous prospective developers Croudace Partnerships had hoped to bulldoze the locally-listed building to make way for 20 two-storey homes, but were denied by the council in October 2013.

A report, put before the borough’s development control board at the time, said the building should be saved because it was a “prominent local landmark” and a “good and rare local example of an early 20th Century neo-Georgian institutional building [which] positively contributes to the character and appearance of the area”.

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Built in the 1930s with a mixture of red and plum coloured-bricks, the building was constructed to serve the local Ford workers and their families, many of whom were Roman Catholic.

Matt Hubbard, 46, director of Nottingham-based agents The Planning Hub, insists the original exterior and character of the building would be kept in tact.

“In all essence it will stay the same and its longevity will be guaranteed,” he said.

“We’re doing what we can to retain the building.”