Controversial plans lodged for children's home in rural Staffordshire hamlet

Controversial plans have been lodged to build a children's care home in a rural Staffordshire hamlet.

The site as seen in planning documents submitted to Stafford Borough Council. Photo: Emery
The site as seen in planning documents submitted to Stafford Borough Council. Photo: Emery

A petition has been signed by "19 out of 20" addresses in Offley Brook, near Eccleshall, against the plans by The Keys Group, said a resident.

The care provider is seeking to turn a private dwelling, located at Greatwood, on Offley Brook Road, into a care home for up to five young people aged between eight and 17.

But the plans, submitted to Stafford Borough Council, have prompted a number of objections from residents alongside a petition, which is set to handed into the council soon.

The Keys Groups runs care homes across the country for children with complex needs.

A local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Express & Star: "We don't believe the location of this house will provide a safe and healthy environment for the children.

"There is no entertainment round here, no schools and no public transport. It is completely rural.

Dangerous

"There are a lot of local features that make the place quite dangerous such as large farming machinery that goes up and down and the Mill Pond."

Among the reasons people have objected are concerns about traffic, a lack of local infrastructure and additional lighting which could pose harm to local wildlife.

One objector, who lives over the Shropshire border in Market Drayton, said: "The increase in traffic affecting the already dangerous single track lane which also becomes impassable in the winter months due to heavy snow. The lane is also frequently subject to intense flooding during heavy rainfall."

As a result, the plans have been called in by Stafford Borough councillor Peter Jones, who is also chairman of Eccleshall Parish Council, to be debated at a planning meeting on Wednesday.

He said: "It seems this has disturbed the local community in the area. We have called in the plans so the committee can discuss it further.

"Theses sorts of plans cause uproar. We try to support the community where we can. But the children need to go somewhere.

"Its a bit like prisons. Someone will always be unhappy about them being built."

In a planning statement, the applicant said: "The proposed use would be compatible with the character of the local area, in terms of the nature of the use, and its location is an entirely appropriate use."

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