Express & Star

Go-ahead to change Wolverhampton house into children’s home despite protests

A controversial bid to convert a Wolverhampton house into a care home for vulnerable children has been given the go-ahead – sparking outrage from three local councillors who campaigned against it.

Last updated

Council planners approved the application for the property in Keepers Lane to cater for two young people with special needs, despite protests from all three Tettenhall Regis councillors – the ward where the home is located.

This week’s council planning committee also received a petition signed by 21 people and  17 letters of objection – including a joint one from Conservative councillors Sohail Khan, Udey Singh and former member Jonathan Yardley.

Cllr Khan said: “First and foremost, we strongly believe that the welfare and wellbeing of vulnerable children should be of utmost importance. Whilst we acknowledge the need for suitable care facilities, we firmly contend that the chosen location at Keepers Lane does not meet the necessary criteria for creating a safe and supportive environment for these vulnerable individuals.

“The house is situated in an area primarily that is fairly isolated, and the surrounding infrastructure lacks the required resources to adequately support the specific needs of the children. The property also represents a flagrant waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The council is predicting a £12.6 million shortfall in their budget yet can still find £650,000 of taxpayers’ money for suboptimal housing arrangements for children with complex needs.

“We owe it to our community to ensure efficient and effective use of funds, providing children with the highest quality care in suitable environments that truly maximise value for every penny spent,” he added.

Cllr Singh said: “The residents of Keepers Lane and the surrounding community have not been given the opportunity for proper consultation regarding the conversion of the house into a children’s home. It is crucial that the concerns and perspectives of those directly affected by such a significant decision are heard and taken into account.

“By neglecting to involve the local residents in the decision-making process, the council has not only disregarded their rights but also missed an opportunity to address potential apprehensions and find mutually agreeable solutions.

“Equally concerning is the fact that, as ward ouncillors, we were not adequately consulted or listened to throughout this process. As elected

representatives of our constituents, it is our responsibility to convey their concerns and advocate for their best interests. Regrettably, the council did not provide us with the opportunity to participate in meaningful discussions regarding the suitability of the proposed location.”

Cllr Bob Maddox (Con), who was elected to the council in May after Cllr Yardley stood down, added: “Children’s wellbeing should never be compromised by thoughtless placement. I object vehemently to the use of a house as a children’s care home in an inappropriate area.

“Children with complex needs deserve a nurturing environment that fosters their growth and safety, free from potential risks and disturbances. We should prioritise their welfare above all, ensuring suitable locations where they can flourish. The property on Keepers Lane is anything but that.”

All three councillors said they would be appealing to council planning bosses for the decision to be reversed.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.