Kirkby children’s home plans rejected

127 Diamond Avenue in Kirkby
127 Diamond Avenue in Kirkby

Plans to turn a Kirkby house into a children’s home have been thrown out by councillors after fears were raised about anti-social behaviour.

Dozens of residents filled the council chamber at Ashfield District Council to hear the planning committee discuss G4S’s proposal for a five bedroom children’s care home on Diamond Avenue.

A petition of 188 signatures and around 20 letters of objection had been submitted, citing fears about anti-social behaviour and crime problems and the unsuitability of the residential location.

The application had been recommended for approval but Councillor Jason Zadrozny put forward a motion calling for councillors to refuse it.

His motion received unanimous cross-party backing.

He said afterwards: “I genuinely thought it was completely the wrong location. It was out of the town centre in a residential area with a much older demographic.

“Homes in the wrong place result in complaints and trouble with anti-social behaviour.”

Nottinghamshire Police had raised concerns about anti-social behaviour but had no objections if the applicant was to work with the police.

Paul Cook, managing director of G4S Children’s Services, said it was ‘disappointing’ that the committee rejected the application.

“We conducted an extensive consultation and, supported by the council, believed our application took account of and responded to local residents’ concerns,” he said.

“Children need to be looked after in children’s homes because they cannot live with their families – rather through any fault of their own – and we will be reviewing this decision in conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council to look at the possible next steps.”

The planning application was for a residential care home for up to five children aged between 10 and 17 on Diamond Avenue.

The home would have been for children who need somewhere to stay because their parents are unwell, they have family problems, they are under local authority care, they are subject to a court order or interim care order or following a foster placement breakdown.

The care would have been on a 24 hour basis with two carers present at all times.