Doncaster children’s home plan approved

Conisbrough councillor Craig Sahman.
Conisbrough councillor Craig Sahman.
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A controversial plan to convert a house into a children’s home has been approved by councillors, despite objections.

Under the plans, the building, on Church Road, Denaby Main, will be converted to provide accommodation for up to four children.

The children will be aged between nine and 19 and require additional support because of emotional problems.

The two-storey, semi-detached, five-bedroom home is currently empty.

As part of the plans, three care staff will be on site on a rotating shift system, with an office staff member present during the day. One of the care staff will stay in the fifth bedroom overnight.

The council received a 179-signature petition from local residents who objected to the plans.

They raised a number of issues with the proposal, including parking problems, loss of private and family life, anti-social behaviour, increase in crime, drug problems, noise and disturbance.

Conisbrough Labour Coun Craig Sahman spoke on behalf of residents and other councillors at yesterday’s planning meeting.

He said: “We have serious concerns. We understand that there is a need for facilities, but we do not believe this is a suitable location.

“It is extremely close to two schools, a youth centre and bungalows where elderly people live. There is fear that this will impact on their quality of life.

“There is also a lot of anti-social behaviour in the area. I have had information from South Yorkshire Police that there have been 23 incidents of ASB in the last 12 months on this road.

“Some people have already moved because of noise from young people in this area and I don’t think this is fair on current residents.”

However, the local neighbourhood team found no evidence of drug-related problems in the area over the last four years, and said anti-social behaviour had not been an issue for six months. The police did not have any concerns about the location.

The residents’ concerns were taken into account, but dismissed overall.

Labour Coun Dave Shaw said: “I do not think your concerns are unfounded, however they are based on what might happen rather than what we know will happen.”

One representation was received in favour of the proposal, highlighting that the company behind the home, Friends Together Care Homes Ltd, was investing in the local area, creating jobs and supporting vulnerable children.