Birmingham councillors today voted to approve the plans for a new three-person children’s home on Thorncliffe Road, Kingstanding.
However the vote came in the face of objections from around 33 local residents and two local councillors, one of whom claimed that the application was illegal and added that the potential adverse effect on local residents ‘cannot be underestimated’.
“Councillor [Barbara] Dring states that there’s only one letter in support, but that there are objections from Oscott councillors in unity, 33 residents from the vicinity of the application and Oscott residents association,” an officer stated.
“She says this application is a change of use from solely residential to commercial in a semi-detached dwelling, it completely changes the street scene and character of the road which has no other commercial buildings.
“Approval would set a dangerous precedent for other permanent commercial activity given permission to operate from residential property, and therefore decreasing housing stock. The adverse effect of this application cannot be underestimated on neighbouring properties.
“I note the absence of an adverse impact report – this is an illegal planning application as a covenant on the property prohibits change of use to commercial. Although not a planning matter, I would hope that committee considers that approving the application is aiding the applicant.”
Among the reasons given by local residents for their objections included the opinion that children aged 8-16 can not be classed as children, a potential rise in anti-social behaviour and that it could lead to ‘assaults on staff and local residents.’
However the proposals were supported by Birmingham Children’s Trust, with the provider being known to and trusted by the Trust, while the operators will be subject to Ofsted inspections to monitor the conditions and suitability of the home.