Firm can extend hours

George Fairhurst with residents of Heaton Street, Standish who are objecting to the expansion plans ar Alpha Care Home. They are Cliff Connor Lydis Connor Joe Woods and Anne Aspinall

George Fairhurst with residents of Heaton Street, Standish who are objecting to the expansion plans ar Alpha Care Home. They are Cliff Connor Lydis Connor Joe Woods and Anne Aspinall

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NEIGHBOURS have lost a battle against longer operating hours for a Wigan nursing firm.

But the protest campaign against Alpha Home Care in Standish has at least won guarantees that the firm won’t be operating around the clock.

The company had applied to make a temporary permission to operate 24-hours, seven-days-a- week, permanent.

But although Wigan Council agreed to support the bid for extended business hours in principle, the actual hours will now be thrashed out after talks between the firm and council service director of development Steve Normington.

Residents have accused the firm’s staff of creating late night disturbance with their cars, threatening the safety of their children by speeding up the road and causing chaos by illegally parking on the highway turning circle.

They sent a 22-signiature petition to planners claiming making Alpha a round-the-clock operation would ruin their quality of life.

Spokesman Cliff Connor, who appeared as objector’s witness, said: “We just don’t want cars up and down the street all night and people in and out, because it is a real disturbance, especially for people who are trying to sleep because they have to get up early for work.”

He was backed by Independent Conservative ward councillor George Fairhurst who said: “This is a residential street. The council should first and foremost consider the impact on the families who already live there.”

The care home was founded a decade ago but has had restrictions placed on it for most of the time restricting use to 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. However, this was changed to temporary consent for 24-hour operation a year ago.

But this was on a trial basis and the company is now applying to make it a permanent arrangement.

Parent company Carewatch Care Service said that the Alpha Homecare business provided 250,000 care hours every year to the Standish community for the elderly, children and families and those with disabilities.

Carewatch project manager Graham Bingham told the committee that outside of the normal nine to five, Alpha operates at a reduced level supporting care, normally with just four staff on duty.

He said that although they had applied for 24 hour operation, the reality was that staff wouldn’t be operating these hours.

Mr Bingham said that the company ethos was to be a good neighbour and to avoid inconveniencing residents. He said: “The staff are aware of the impact that everyone always parks on the property whenever possible.”