Permission has been granted to use a house close to Barnsley town centre for an expansion of a business which provides support to mothers needing help to learn parenting skills, despite objections from neighbours.
Precious Homes already operate from two houses in Gawber Road and have now been given planning permission to change the use of a third house for the same purpose.
Councillors on the authority’s planning board were told the type of service provided – residential placements of around 12 weeks – was a shrinking industry nationally with almost 100 such businesses operating in 2005 now reduced to 37.
Staff supervise mothers and provide assistance with learning parenting skills, which can make the difference between children staying with their natural family or being taken into care.
The meeting was told there is a ‘zero tolerance’ approach towards drugs and alcohol, with anyone found breaching the rules losing their place and – in likelihood – their child.
But there were objections from some residents, who are concerned commercial developments will put more cars into an area where parking is already congested.
Councillors, who approved the plans, were also told an increasing number of homes in the area have been taken over for hostel-type accommodation by various health care organisations, changing the residential nature of the neighbourhood.
However, the meeting was told off road parking would be provided at the new premises.