Three children’s home providers have applied for permission to open homes in Corby in the past three months.
Corby Council’s development control officers have been asked to consider issuing certificates for homes in Lincoln Way, Stanion Lane and Cartmel Drive on the Oakley Vale estate.
The small homes are all being opened by different providers and are aimed at helping fill the ‘severe shortage’ of stable housing for some of the many children with behavioural or emotional issues currently under the care of Northamptonshire County Council.
Local residents have objected to at least one of the applications due to concerns about it not being an appropriate location.
The first application, from Total Care Matters, was to convert a 1920s residential home in Stanion Lane to a home for four children and at least two carers.
It was submitted in July and has been given permission despite some local objections.
The planning application said: “The children and their carers eat together and are encouraged to socialise together and live as a family. The children and carers are responsible for all chores and upkeep of the
home including cooking, gardening and cleaning duties.”
But neighbours said that the house was not appropriate for a care home and that there was already a shortage of family homes in Corby. An objection said: “Total Care Matters specialise in homes for children and teenagers with SEBD, offering emergency and short-notice accommodation.
“This raises concerns for residents, their families and their properties.
“Stanion Lane is a small residential area and any regular disturbance would destroy the tranquil village setting.”
In their application for a new children’s home called Sugarbush House in Lincoln Way, one of Corby’s toughest areas, operators Protea Care say that they have a mission to provide support and encourage young people to become healthier, happier people, adding: “We will encourage a ‘plant, cultivate and harvest’ philosophy, where staff and young people are encouraged to take small, consistent steps towards achieving their goals.”
They said that they felt they had addressed concerns raised by local police sergeant Jon Hodgson. Those concerns were not recorded in the publicly-available planning documents although the house is in an area where several closure orders have been issued and with a high prevalence of drugs issues.
Their application said that they had met with Northamptonshire County Council’s Head Residential Brokerage Officers Holly Wright who had told them it was clearly established that there is a severe shortage of suitable, quality children’s homes in the county and that 12 young people were awaiting urgent placement.
A third application for another children’s home in Cartmel Drive on the Oakley Vale estate has been submitted by Nottingham-based Watermead Care. It will house three children and carers who will be on site 24/7.
The application states: “We have chosen to locate our home in Corby as it is a safe, calm area with plenty of community spirit which is ideal for children that have had few life chances so far. There are excellent local education provisions and social activities for our young people.”