Councillors have been recommended to approve a proposal to turn a three-bedroomed family house in a village cul-de-sac into a small mum and baby home despite 69 objections from nearby residents.

Altham-based Prosperity Children's Services Ltd, formerly named Trinity Care and Education Services, has applied to convert the house in Bluebell Way, Huncoat, into residential care home for a mother and baby (or for two children) supported by up to three carers.

It will be considered by Hyndburn Council's planning committee on Thursday at the request of Huncoat ward's Cllr Danny Cassidy, who is concerned at the scheme's impact on local amenities.

In June last year two similar proposals from the same company for other properties in Bluebell Way were refused by the committee against planning officers' advice, after an emotional plea by street resident Kelly Ball whose daughter had been knocked over because of double parking on the road.

The rejections are currently the subject of appeals to the government's Planning Inspectorate,

A report to councillors recommends the plans are approved with four conditions. It also reveals there have been 69 neighbour objections against the proposals.

Fears raised by objectors include: 

  • extra traffic and parking problems;
  • noise/disturbance;
  • the effect on local services and school places;
  • it "completely changing the character of an estate designed for family dwellings";
  • loss of housing;
  • fears of anti-social behaviour and for the safety of children.

The property has off-road parking space for at least three vehicles and would be lived in by a family which requires additional support, and the report states the change of use would have "minimal impact" on neighbours.

The report also reveals the senior commissioning manager for Lancashire County Council does not support the application, saying: "There are already very high numbers of children's homes in Lancashire, many of which are filled with children in care from other local authorities, which has a significant impact on local services such as schools, health and policing.

"We do not struggle to find local mother and baby children's homes."

The report adds: "The present proposal is to change the use of the building to a children’s home providing accommodation for a young mother and baby or for two children.

"The mother and baby or two children would live at the property as their main residence – the carers would attend on a rota/shift basis.

"The principle of providing high-quality accommodation for cared-for-children in the midst of well-founded residential areas is not under question.

"The applicant states the intention to provide a living environment as close as possible to a family setting.

"Therefore the building itself would likely continue to have a character consistent with that of a dwelling-house.

"Officers recognise developments of this type can give rise to local opposition, however, the proposed change of use would be likely to have minimal adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring dwelling houses or the residential area generally.

"The proposal should therefore be supported."