ANOTHER proposal to turn an East Lancashire family house into a small children's home has been submitted.

Warrington-based Birchwood Children’s Services Ltd want to convert the three-bedroomed semi at 67 Petre Crescent, Rishton.

The firm has submitted an application for a certificate of lawful use to Hyndburn Council.

In August last year Cllr Judith Addison, now chair of the borough's planning committee, expressed concern over the 'mushrooming industry' of such conversions.

A supporting statement submitted with the application says: "Birchwood Children’s Services Ltd is seeking a lawful development certificate to use 67 Petre Crescent as a small specialist care home for one child with emotional and/or behavioural difficulties; "The proposal is to register the property as a children's home for a maximum of one child aged from eight to 18 years.

"The property is a three bedroomed semi-detached house.

"The child will live at the property long term, hopefully for many years. This is not a halfway house or emergency accommodation for children.

"There will be no external alterations to the building or surrounds.

"Only one child would live at the house, with two carers working on a rota basis sleeping overnight and a further carer/manager will also attend most weekdays.

"Six carers would operate on a shift pattern 48 hours on and 60 off. Except at changeover times there will no more than three carers on the premises at any one time.

"The purpose of the home would be to support the child to build their confidence, help them in developing life skills and prepare them for life when they leave the home to fend for themselves.

"This type of support has been found to be most effective in helping these children to have normal lives and not experience problems in later life.

"During the day it is expected that the child would engage in various activities, plus attend a mainstream or special school.

"This type of provision, which government policy is promoting, is to help children who often, through no fault of their own, have not had good parenting in their early years.

"Without such homes and positive interventions, these children will often end up in adult institutions, suffering from long-term health problems.

"It is maintained that the nature of the use is not materially different from the current use as a family dwelling.

"Comings and goings would be no greater than occur at present, hence there would be no undue disturbance to any neighbours."