A respite holiday centre for carers as young as five has been given the go ahead by East Ayrshire Council planners.

The facility is to be set up at the Old School, Dalleagles, south west of New Cumnock.

The building is being acquired by The Honeypot Charity, which states it is the only charity in the UK dedicated to younger carers aged five to twelve.

In a supporting statement to planners, the charity states: “Some of the children are as young as five when they start helping to give medication, complete household chores and assist with personal care.

“Although they are still children, some care for up to 30 hours a week, 365 days a year, often single handed.”

The Honeypot Charity currently operate similar centres in England and Wales.

Their statement adds: “Respite break consists of a three day, two night stay, offering children ‘protected’ time to play and make new friends and explore the surroundings free of their caring commitments.”

Although it was originally a school, the property is currently split between a guest house and a house for staff operating it.

In a report, planners state: “It has been demonstrated that the existing guest house and dwelling will be used to provide respite accommodation for young people from aged 5-18 years and the existing dwelling house will be used to accommodate staff.

“With regard to the existing two bedroom dwelling it is considered that up to five residents living together in a household where care is provided is not a material change in the use class of the property.

“In this case the staff accommodation will be single household. Therefore, it is concluded that there would be no material change of use.”