PLANS to expand and renovate a former Bishop Auckland care home and bring it back to use have been approved.

Durham County Council planning officers have given the go ahead for 19 self-contained apartments at Langholme Care Home, in High Bondgate The building has been empty since 2010. When in use it had 27 bedrooms with a number of bathrooms.

The new scheme will provide accommodation for people with mental health problems who will follow a recovery plan prepared by the Mental Health Foundation.

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Tenants will use the apartments for up to two years.

A report submitted in the application said it would likely that staff will be on site 24/7 and the scheme was in line with Government recommendations.

However, concerns were raised about parking, the standard of the extension and the lack of information provided about who would be living there.