An overgrown former industrial estate in Widnes could soon be replaced by a care home for people with autism.

Care Developments Ltd has applied to build a 20-bed home for adults with autism and other complex needs on the site of the former Greenoaks Industrial Estate in Warrington Road.

The industrial estate was demolished in 2014 and the site has been the subject of several previous bids to build houses and care homes.

However, none of these have proved successful and the plot has been left vacant and overgrown while new houses were built on the surrounding land.

In its application to Halton Council for planning permission, Care Developments said the care home would provide “residential care and support for the most vulnerable and difficult to place people in our communities”.

It continued: “It will consist of 20 individual beds providing step down and support for individuals needing to move on from hospital settings, enabling the local authority to move service users back to their locality from where they had to move away due to a lack of suitable local provision.”

Unlike most care homes, the application said this development would primarily accommodate younger people as it was focused on autism and similar conditions rather than care for the elderly.

The plans also include two “step down houses” for people needing a lower level of care.

The company said in its application: “As people’s needs are met and their challenges reduce they will be able to move into a specially designed environment which is less staff-intensive with a focus on developing the person’s skills and enabling them to move towards independence and potentially community living.”

Members of the public have until January 28 to comment on the plans, and the council aims to make a decision on the proposals by March 23.