30 May Plans for Secure Facility Scrapped at Care Home Site
Controversial plans for a secure residential facility in Galley Common have been scrapped.
Plans to build a Children’s Care Home on the Thistledome site behind Waggestaff Drive and Plough Hill Road in Galley Common have been altered following a well-attended consultation evening recently.
The applicants arranged the event to hear from local residents living nearby on The Shires estate and on Plough Hill Road and after listening to your concerns, they agreed to address them and to feedback to residents.
I’m delighted to have heard that they have now agreed to remove the request for permission for C2A usage in one of the buildings, instead applying the C2 residential status throughout the site.
Several residents had contacted me with concerns over the possibility of having the C2A use granted, with many worried about the building housing young offenders or young psychiatric patients. Some living nearby were worried that once permission for C2A use was granted for one building it could then be easily applied to the rest of the site and could end up being sold on and eventually used as a prison or mental health facility.
I contacted the applicants with these concerns and met with them to discuss the issues raised and to view the plans in more detail as well as take a look around the site.
Having taken the time to speak with several residents at the consultation and hearing their concerns, the owners decided to remove the request for C2A usage as well as make some other changes. The applicants have also put a small leaflet together to answer some of the questions asked on the night, this has been posted to those living neighbouring properties.
I’ve included a link to the consultation document below but the main points are:
C2A Usage Scrapped
As discussed above, the main cause of concern for the majority of residents has been the request for C2A usage. This has now been removed.
Installing Opaque Windows
Some residents were worried that from two angular windows in Home 1 children would be able to see into houses on Chaytor Drive and/or Waggestaff Drive. The applicants have agreed to install opaque glass in these windows to obscure the view.
Restrictions on Site Traffic
Anyone living in the area will be well aware of the existing traffic issues on Plough Hill Road and through The Shires, especially during peak times. To minimise the impact on traffic the applicants have suggested various shift times that avoid peak hours. Other site traffic, like bin collections and deliveries, will also be arranged avoiding peak times.
Outdoor Cinema and Fire Pit
These were added to the design and access statement to show the potential uses of outdoor space. Residents at the consultation evening were worried about noise levels but the owners have confirmed that they have no intention of installing either a cinema or a fire pit on site.
The plan is to build and operate four children’s homes, each accommodating up to five children aged 7-17 years. The homes will accommodate young children who are placed into safe, inclusive and aspirational environments due to a variety of reasons mainly due to early lived childhood trauma and including but not limited too many forms of abuse in their early lived lives.
“Some of the children will access local schools, others may be taught in a more specialist school setting. There may be a small percentage being home tutored however this is not something that would be considered the norm. The children would be expected to access schools by walking to school, by taxi or be supported by one of our staff members using their cars to transport the children to school. The operation would be very similar to any normal residential 5 bedroomed home, with the rhythmic and repetitive nature of domestic life playing out.”
You can read the full consultation feedback document from the applicants, Forge Care, by clicking this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/clouddrive/share/QgAgccK8jSEVdmfILXK4fhLs5xIyR5FY2sJW9uRQd9M
I’m still waiting to hear from planning officers at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council with a date for the application going to Planning Committee. As soon as I have this I will publish it. All residents will be welcome to attend the committee meeting and some will have the opportunity to speak on the application.
If you have any other concerns about the site or any other local issues you want help with please do get in touch.