Objections over plans to change use of Wellingborough house into a children's home for one

North Northamptonshire Council Planning Committee is due to consider the application at its meeting on Thursday (June 10)

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 5:05 pm
Thursday's meeting will be held at Swanspool House in Wellingborough

An application to change the use of a house in Wellingborough to a children's home for one child is being recommended for refusal.

North Northamptonshire Council Planning Committee is due to consider the application at its meeting on Thursday (June 10).

A report to the committee recommends it is refused as the social benefits of the application are considered limited as the placing authority has not confirmed that it would utilise the children's home.

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It states the site contains a small three-bedroom house and there is an identified and evidenced need for small houses within North Northamptonshire.

The proposal has adverse environmental impacts as the parking proposed does not comply with the local standard.

The report states the 'adverse social and environmental impacts are considered to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the economic benefits of the proposal.'

Staff and residents of the site would be reliant on the private car, and insufficient off-road parking is provided for the proposed use.

The report states: 'The latest information submitted refers to the home being for one child only supported by two staff members with one bedroom for staff, one for the child and one bedroom to be used as an office. '

A total of 11 objections were received by the council. These included increase in traffic and loss of on-street parking for visitors.

The housing strategy section of the report states: 'The application makes no reference to the standards set out in the Guide to Children's Home Standards or to relevant NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)guidelines.

'The standards require that the registered person 'seek to involve' the placing authority, in this instance North Northamptonshire Council (NNC), or the Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Group.

'The applicant and NNC should therefore provide evidence of an agreed need for this children's home. The plans proposed do not demonstrate that the proposed home will provide 'privacy, common spaces and spaces to be active' as required by the guidelines, nor to provide overnight staff accommodation and facilities as required by the guidelines.

'The plans also do not provide information detailing how the home would meet the needs of children in care who might have additional needs, for example requiring adaptations, accessibility considerations, locked medicine cabinets etc.

'Without clear evidence of need for this children's home, support from the placing authority, and demonstration that the design meets current and potential future needs of a children's home, it is not possible for the housing officer to support this application.'

The Children’s Trust was consulted and asked whether a home of this nature in this location is required. It stated: “The provider is in our Personal Care and Support framework, and they have stated they plan to tender for our Children's Home Framework, due to reopen in the next months.

'Our initial thoughts are that a new children’s home could offer more choice and should it be too costly, the trust would not have to place with them.'

The meeting is due to start at 7pm at the Council Chamber, Swanspool House in Doddington Road, Wellingborough.