A GOVERNMENT inspector has overturned an East Lancashire local authority's refusal of approval for a small care home in a village cul-de-sac.

In June, Hyndburn Council's planning committee refused permission for the development at 49 Bluebell Way, Huncoat, after an emotional plea from Kelly Ball.

She told councillors how her young child had already been knocked down on the road because of double parking.

The committee also refused a similar application for 7 Bluebell Way.

Altham-based Prosperity Children's Services Ltd, formerly named Trinity Care and Education Services, had applied to turn both the detached houses into residential care homes for a mother and baby (or for two children) supported by up to three carers.

Bluebell Way resident Ms Ball said parking was already a problem on the street even without the extra cars that the two homes would create from staff and visitors.

Prosperity Children's Services Ltd then appealed the refusal for number 49 to the government's planning inspectorate.

Now inspector J D Clark has ruled against the council and in favour of the applicant with three conditions imposed.

The official report says: "The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for the proposed change of use to form a household comprising of a resident mother and baby or two children, supported by up to three carers.

"I am satisfied that the proposal would not result in a greater number of vehicles visiting this property than would be the case if it were occupied as a four bedroomed family-house.

"On-street parking and an unspecified number of vehicles could occur however the house was occupied, and there is no compelling evidence to demonstrate that the proposal would cause an increase in activity to the detriment of the living conditions of the surrounding residents.

"In addition, there is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the comings and goings as well as noise and disturbance, including at hours when nearby residents would reasonably expect a degree of peace and quiet, would be significantly more than that associated with a family dwelling.

"I do not therefore consider that the proposal would result in a hazard to highway safety.

"Concerns have also been raised by neighbours about the safety of children currently living in the estate, impact on local services, other buildings more suitable, similar applications nearby, covenants, loss of family home, railway line nearby, character of the area, whether staff would be adequately trained, anti-social behaviour and an increase in crime including vandalism, together with falling house prices.

"These concerns are not supported by robust evidence."