Pi News –
Berwick Hills councilor Ian Blades made the comments amid concerns over potential “noise” in the care home park and the negative impact on the “peace and harmony” of the area. Last year, Coventry-based Courtyard Care Ltd was granted planning permission to convert a large property on Low Lane, Aclam, into a residential facility for up to six children aged seven to 18.
However, a planning application was subsequently submitted to change the use of the house to allow it to accommodate adults. The council’s planning and development committee met on Thursday to discuss the proposed changes.
In their written objections to the scheme, Kader councilors Sharon and Jim Platt said the homes in the Low Lane area were mainly occupied by elderly people. They worried that those residents would have “fear and anxiety” living near young adults with “difficult problems.”
“This proposed shift could seriously affect the peace and harmony of our society,” they said. “The noise levels, disruption and potential conflict caused by the changes could disrupt the peaceful co-existence we currently enjoy, cause concern for existing residents and impact property values.”
Stainton and Thornton councilor David Coupe said there were no children’s homes in the area and children would be supervised at all times, while adults “could come as they pleased”. A spokesman for Courtyard Care said the proposal to change the use of the children’s home to aged care was a response to “utilisation priorities” of social care services for adults.
He said the senior home is monitored 24/7 and noted that adults living there have disabilities such as learning difficulties and autism. The goal, he said, was to give residents “as normal a life as possible.”
The company will be “mindful” of its neighbors and any “potential disturbance” will be managed, he added. Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Jim Platt said it was unfair to place the house in an area where 89 per cent of residents pay council tax compared to half in other areas of Middlesbrough.
It also claimed the Coventry-based home management company was costing six adults more than £5,600 a week, costing the council £1.75m a year. “We’re making cuts everywhere and laying people off and now we’re sending all that money to Coventry,” he said.
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Newport councilor Jill McEwan said: “Where do people want these young people to live? Should they be put downtown, near the drug dealers?
Cllr Blades said: “We’re not asking the committee to approve a prison here. They have learning difficulties, they don’t house these people and lock their rooms.
“I really struggle with some of the comments.” Four councilors voted in favor of the change, three against, two abstentions and the motion was approved.