Telford children's home plan set to be approved despite objections

Controversial plans to convert a pair of semi-detached houses into a children’s home look set to be approved.

Telford & Wrekin Council will decide on the application
Telford & Wrekin Council will decide on the application

The proposals, for Attwood Terrace in Dawley, Telford, have received 46 objections from members of the public who say they are concerned about noise and anti-social behaviour, house prices and the safety of existing residents.

Local councillors have also opposed the application, but Telford & Wrekin Council planning officers say permission should be granted.

A decision will be made by the council’s planning committee next week.

The applicants propose joining the houses into a single property via a door on the ground floor, and making other changes including the removal of a garage and car port and a ground-floor rear extension.

Four extra parking spaces will also be created and en-suite bathrooms added to the bedrooms. The home will accommodate up to four children aged eight to 18.

A report to the planning committee says the facility will create 13 jobs including a manager, and will operate under a ratio of one staff member to one child.

One member of staff will be on duty overnight.

Councillors Andy Burford and Ian Preece, who represent Dawley and Aqueduct, said residents were concerned that not enough information had been provided about what type of facility was being proposed.

They said: “We are against the proposal on the grounds of loss of residential amenity – loss of privacy in a residential street, potential noise and disturbance, and potential highways (parking) issues.”

Councillor Margaret Hunt, a member of Great Dawley Town Council, also objected and said more information was required.

She added: “Dawley already has a high concentration of HMO’s or similar which have, in some instances, been very poorly managed with regards to the upkeep of the buildings and the welfare of the residents who live in them.

“This has had a devastating cost to the quality of life of all Dawley residents and I feel I must protest on behalf of them to this change of use.”

The planning officers’ report says: “The site is located within a residential area and it is recognised that a number of residents have raised concerns in relation to potential noise, disturbance and anti-social behaviour which may arise.

“A member of staff will always be on site, indicating a high degree of management.

“Whilst the concerns of local residents are appreciated there is no reason to suggest that the establishment would not be well run and that these problems would arise.”

Recommending permission be granted, the officers conclude: “The site location is considered acceptable and, with the proposed number of residents and the on-site management of the premises, it is not reasonably considered that there would be any undue impact on the amenities of neighbouring residents.

“The proposed rear extension and other alterations to the frontages of the dwellings are not considered to harm the character or appearance of the properties or the wider area.”

The application will be decided at a planning committee meeting next Wednesday, January 26.

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