Plans to turn a residential house into a children’s care home have been unanimously turned down by councillors.
More than 50 people went to hear the discussions of Wellingborough Council’s planning committee last night (Wednesday, October 29), over the application by G4S Children’s Services for a change of use for 34 Hatton Avenue in Wellingborough from a dwelling house to a children’s home.
If approved as had been recommended by planning officers, the house would have had up to five children aged between 10 and 17 present at the house at any given time.
It would have provided accommodation for youngsters from local authorities needing placements for looked after children and children in need.
But there was an overwhelming strength of feeling from people living in the area, including more than 100 letters of objection and an 800-name petition against it, for it to be refused.
Their concerns included adversely changing the neighbourhood, increased noise, anti-social behaviour, increased crime and vandalism, increased traffic and the proposal would ‘dilute unique residential character.’
After hearing from 12 speakers, the majority of which were objectors, the committee had the chance to have their say.
Cllr Malcolm Waters said: “We are not just talking about five children’s lives, we are talking about over 800 people’s lives.
“Doesn’t that situation make you feel that you have chosen the wrong location?”
Cllr Andrew Scarborough said: “I have great concerns that this is the wrong application in the wrong place.
“I think it is here because this is where the bigger houses are.”
He added: “I don’t think this scheme is properly and fully thought out, and I think it will have a significant adverse impact on the area.”
When put to the vote, councillors unanimously refused the plans and a round of applause broke out as residents celebrated the decision they had been hoping for.