Children's home approved for suburban Preston as planning officers conclude it won't disturb nearby residents

A property in Fulwood is set be converted into a care home for children with “social and emotional difficulties” – in spite of objections from locals.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 12:42 pm

Planning officers at Preston City Council gave the go ahead to change the use of the six-bedroomed detached house on Victoria Road.

A maximum of five children – aged anywhere between eight and 18 – will live at the facility at any one time.

They will be looked after on a one-to-one basis by ten staff working directly with the youngsters on a rota. Two managers will also work at the property.

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The property on Victoria Road in Fulwood which will house up to five children (image: Google Streetview)

But the plans drew objections from more than two dozen residents who raised a range of concerns – including fear of crime and anti-social behaviour based on their experience of a similar home which operated in the area. The council was also told that the changes would lead to increased noise and general disturbance.

However, officers rejected the objections, concluding that there was no reason to suppose that the “genuine concerns” about the spike in crime associated with the other facility in the area meant that the same issues would arise at the site under consideration.

“No assumptions can be made about how a new care home would operate, nor about the behaviour of the children who would live in this home,” the officer report noted.

“In planning terms, the proposed facility would ultimately be a residential care home for individuals who would be under constant 24-hour professional supervision”.

The likelihood of increased disturbance was also dismissed on the basis that the comings and goings of children to school and staff to work would be unlikely to be more significant than the normal functioning of a property of a similar size. The garden space was also found to be sufficient to meet the needs of the children living at the facility.

However, a condition has been imposed which would mean any expansion of the number of residents at the property would require a further application to the city council.

A new area of hardstanding will also be created to allow for the parking of seven cars at the house at any one time.

In a submission as part of its application, operator Caretech Community Services said: “This type of accommodation is much needed in the area. The County Authority (Lancashire) are keen on [the firm] opening this site, as they will be able to keep young people within their locality.”