Plans to convert Luton house into children's home approved despite opposition

Plans were submitted to change the four-bedroom house into a children’s home for up to three young people
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A Luton property can be converted into a children’s hostel, despite neighbouring residents’ concerns about safeguarding, noise and parking.

Children to Prosper Limited submitted a change of use application from a four-bedroom house to a children’s home for up to three young people at number nine, Glenfield Road.

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The premises is one of five properties in a cul-de-sac, a meeting of the borough council’s development management committee heard.

Pictured: Luton Town HallPictured: Luton Town Hall
Pictured: Luton Town Hall

Planning officer Naila Malik told the committee: “This application is to convert the house into a children’s care home for a maximum three children, aged seven to 18, with behavioural, emotional and learning difficulties.

“There would be no external changes to the property, while there would be a maximum of three staff and a manager,” she explained.

“It won’t result in the loss of residential accommodation. The use of the building won’t materially change. The principal of the development is considered acceptable.

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“Increased activity with staff would have an adverse effect on the character of the area. There would be two shift handovers. But there would be less impact in noise and disturbance than if the house was occupied by a large family.

“The lower level of parking indicated would still be acceptable for the proposed use. There are no parking restrictions in the area.”

Four representations were received objecting to the scheme as part of the initial consultation, according to a report to the committee.

“In response to the comments received the applicant was advised to submit an operational management document, which provides details of how the care home would be operated,” said the report.

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“All neighbours and objectors were consulted again about the extra information. A further comment was received raising similar concerns as before.

“These were around the negative impact on the character of the area, the amenities of the adjoining occupiers, and increased parking and congestion within the surrounding locality.

“A further two representations were received since then from adjoining occupiers reacting to the additional document submitted by the applicant.

“Comments made included potential safeguarding issues between the children in the care home and those in the neighbourhood, the evening changeover would cause unacceptable noise levels, and the loss of a much needed family property.

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“Other concerns were insufficient room for three parking spaces, causing staff and visitors to park their vehicles on an already busy road with disruption for local residents, and alternative locations should be considered.”

There was also a suggestion the local authority should be “held responsible for any future incidents that may occur”, added the report.

Labour Farley councillor Dave Taylor, who chairs the committee, said: “The best place for the children to be is near local schools in a residential area, not out in the middle of nowhere.

“There’s no loss of a house, and no external or internal alterations. The property will still be there. There’s 24-hour cover and no objection by highways.”

Councillors unanimously approved the plans.

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