Petition objecting to proposed children’s home signed by 70 residents

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An online petition calling on Barnsley Council to refuse planning permission for a children’s home has been lodged.

Since the petition on Change.org was launched on June 3, 70 people have signed.

The plans would see a detached home on Wood Walk in Royston converted into a children’s home.

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It is the second bid to convert the property after BMBC refused proposals in 2022, following 14 objections from residents.

Wood WalkWood Walk
Wood Walk

Barnsley Council’s planning board said the original scheme would be ‘detrimental’ to neighbours due to noise and disturbance, loss of a large family home from the borough’s housing stock, and ‘may add to the disproportionate and high number of children in care placed in the Barnsley Borough from neighbouring authorities’.

The applicant has now lodged a second bid to turn the property into a children’s home for three youngsters, and says the use will be ‘no different to that of a family home’, and staff changeovers will take place in the morning to reduce traffic.

Planning documents add that the use of the property as a children’s home constitutes a residential use, not commercial.

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If approved, the home will employ 12 members of staff, and ‘enable children in care to live as normal lives as possible within the community’.

However, a petition states that the proposals would ’cause major disruption to a very peaceful neighbourhood’.

Residents say they have concerns about a ‘potential increase in traffic, noise, and overall disruption’ due to the proposals, adding that the ‘quiet residential area’ is ‘not appropriate’.

“Barnsley council have previously aired concerns about resources being pushed in this area and bringing non-local children just adds to that constraint,” the petition adds.

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Matt O’Neill, executive director for growth and sustainability at BMBC, said: “The council received a lawful use certificate application on 20 May 2024 for a children’s home in Royston. This follows the refusal of full planning permission for the conversion of the property to a care home in February 2022.

“Anyone can apply to the local planning authority to obtain a decision about the way a building or land is being used, or is planned to be used, and whether it is lawful. Unlike a conventional planning application, a lawful use certificate application doesn’t consider planning merits, such as highways, parking, noise or drainage.

“In this case, the council need to consider whether the proposed use of the property in Royston as a residential children’s home would be materially different from its lawful use as a conventional dwellinghouse. We’ll be considering the information submitted, and discussions will be held with our legal team to decide whether the proposal represents a material change of use or not.”