Wigan children's home plans approved despite 39 objections from neighbours

Plans to turn a house into a children’s home have been given the green light – despite dozens of objections from people living nearby.

Wigan Council has approved a planning application from Panacea Children’s Services to change the use of a property on St Andrew’s Drive in Springfield.

The two-storey semi-detached house can now be used as a residential care home, where two children aged six to 18 will live, supported by two members of staff working 24-hour shifts.

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The property on St Andrew's Drive in SpringfieldThe property on St Andrew's Drive in Springfield
The property on St Andrew's Drive in Springfield

It is hoped the property will provide “a safe, loving and supportive home” which “mirrors a family home as much as is possible”.

It will be used to care for children with emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental disorders, drug or alcohol dependence, or sensory impairment.

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A council report states: “The key aim is to work with children in a safe environment supporting the children with all aspects of day-day care life. This allows children who cannot for a variety of reasons, live within their family home, to remain in their local community with access to the local schools and services that will complement the services provided by the staff.”

Permission for the scheme was granted by the council, despite 39 letters of objection being sent by people living nearby and a request for a site visit by Coun Phyll Cullen.

Concerns included busy on-street parking being exacerbated by staff and other visitors to the home, the site not being suitable, a potential rise in anti-social behaviour, the impact on the prices of nearby properties, and fears for the safety of children and vulnerable people living nearby.

These issues were all considered and conditions added to planning consent, including that off-road parking be available at all times and a management plan prepared covering factors such as staff shift changes.

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The council’s report stated there was nothing to suggest a danger to people living in the area or a possible increase in anti-social behaviour, as the two children living at the home would be supervised by staff.

Planning consent was granted only for a residential children’s home run by Panacea, with the property converting back to a residential dwelling when it is no longer operated by the firm.

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