Approval recommended for plan to convert Northampton house into children's home despite complaints

Up to three kids and three members of staff would be there at a time but neighbours concerned about impact on them

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 8:29 am

Approval has been recommended for a proposal to convert a Northampton house into a children's home for up to three children despite complaints.

West Northamptonshire Council's Northampton area planning committee is due to discuss the application to turn the four-bed property in Obelisk Rise into a children's home on Tuesday (November 2).

Ward councillor Sam Rumens asked for the scheme to be called-in over concerns about the impact on elderly neighbours while 14 other residents have also objected.

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Obelisk Rise, Northampton. Photo: Google

However, the council's planning officer supports the plan, writing in their report: "The proposal would have no significant impact upon the character and appearance of the area, neighbour amenity and parking and highway safety."

The proposal is for the change of use from a dwelling to a children’s home to accommodate a maximum of three children aged from five to 18 years-old.

There would be a maximum of three members of staff on duty at the property at any one time during the day, but this would generally be two, with a manager visiting occasionally, and a maximum of two employees during the night, the report reads.

The children living there would be those who the council's social services has deemed cannot live with their parent(s), or have no family to look after them or a foster placement might have broken down.

Councillor Rumens is worried about potential noise and disturbance, physical risk of harm from the occupants of the proposed home, and impact on mental health due to the fear of noise or physical harm.

The planning officer said there is no basis for concerns about an increase in anti-social behaviour and refusing the application on such fears would not be justifiable.

Other complaints about disturbance to residents or a rise in noise were similar to what would be expected from a four-bedroom family home.

The home is considered to have enough parking space, bedrooms and bathrooms, and is not considered to be a way to get around rules on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).