eve of 50-300 cm or larger
that's a longer range than what most IR sensors can do. For instance, the Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F only does 80cm.
I have done some work to support the TeraRanger Evo 15m and this comes also in 3m version that could work for your application. See https://forum.bela.io/d/1629-longer-range-tof-distance-sensors-with-bela
It looks like this just requires connecting it via UART and read an 8-byte message, so straightforward to use with Bela.
This looks like a HC-SR04 but using a single pin. Can be used from Bela, but needs some adaptations of the existing code. Namely, it needs to call
pinMode() before and after each write to the trigger pin.
this is great as it has an analog voltage output, which means it can be easily read from the Bela's analog inputs. However, the usable range is smaller than what you require.