Shropshire Star

Children's home plan for village house withdrawn amid deluge of residents' opposition

A controversial plan to turn a house into a residential care home for children has been withdrawn after 150 letters of objection were lodged.

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Back Lane in Tibberton where the residential care home was proposed. Picture: Google Maps

Plans were submitted last month to convert a six-bedroom detached building in Back Lane, Tibberton, into a residential care home for four children.

PLACE Young People’s Company, a specialist provider for children with complex needs, was planned to operate the building.

The applicant said the building would provide a ‘long-term home’ for four children with ‘social, emotional, behavioural and educational difficulties’.

“The aim for this property is to support and care for up to four children who through no fault of their own are in the care system and need more specialist care due to past trauma and who therefore require a higher level of support than children that are perhaps in a foster care setting,” said the applicant in their design and access statement.

“Many of the children placed have an attachment disorder from multiple moves in their life and struggle to understand their thoughts and feelings. The applicants follow a clear therapeutic parenting model to support each child individually.

“The site will provide long-term residential accommodation for children with complex needs, in a high-quality environment. Demand for specialist care facilities of this nature is increasing.”

It was proposed that the property would be staffed on a shift basis by a team of carers. There were no alterations to be building required either internally or externally as part of the plans.

The applicant said that there was ‘adequate space’ within the grounds of the property to accommodate the parking needed.

Objections have flooded into the council about the proposed plan from Tibberton residents who feel that the location was not appropriate for a children’s home.

They raised fears of children already living in the village being exposed to ‘anti-social behaviour’ and said that there were not enough resources near the proposed home.

“All noise and bad language will be heard and feel this is unfair to inflict on people, who have purchased a house in a family friendly village,” said one objector.

Another objector raised a fear that approving the children’s home could set an ‘unfavourable precedent’ for future developments and could ‘compromise the overall integrity and charm of the village’.

Homeowners also said that they would have to install extra security lights if plans were approved which would disturb bats at adjacent properties.

The suitability of Back Lane to cope with the additional traffic accessing the development was also highlighted by objectors.

Another objector said that the single-storey house would be easy for residents to escape, while surrounding properties also had low fences.

Tibberton parish councillor Mark Stubbs also objected, stating that the proposal was ‘entirely inappropriate’.

He added: “There is zero support within the community for this social experiment and, indeed, the opposite will be the case.

“Surely Telford & Wrekin council have to take into account the effect this will have on the whole community, which will be hugely negative. These residents will not be welcomed in any way, which, surely, is not in their best interests.

“It is proven fact that house values decrease in any area where there is one of these dwellings. This cannot be fair on any homeowner who has saved and invested in a home in Tibberton.

“Surely these young people should be housed in a larger town such as Newport where they can avail themselves of the local amenities and infrastructure.”