Proposal: Change of use from dwellinghouse (C3) to children’s residential care home (C2)
Location: Heath Farm, Newgate Lane, Londonthorpe, NG31 9HD
Recommendation: To approve the application subject to conditions
Proposal: Change of Use from dwellinghouse (C3) to Children's Residential Care Home (C2)
Location: Heath Farm. Newgate Lane, Londonthorpe, NG31 9HD
Decision: To defer the application
Noting comments made during the public speaking session by:
· Comments from Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without Parish Council
· No objection from Lincolnshire County Council Highways and SUDS Support
· No comments from SKDC Environmental Protection Services
· Representations received as a result of public consultation
· Provisions within the National Planning Policy Framework and the South Kesteven Local Plan and supplementary planning documents
· Site visit observations
· The additional information report published on 20 July 2020 and officer comment thereon
· Comments made by Members at the meeting
Throughout the Committee’s deliberations, Members raised several areas of concern in relation to the application, as outlined below:
· Members expressed concern as to whether the proposed application site would cause social isolation. Reference was made to the distance from the property to local amenities, including Grantham town centre and the nearest bus stop.
· Members noted that Lincolnshire County Council had not come forward as a consultee for the application because the project was a private venture. Several Members of the Committee felt unable to establish if there was a proven need for the application without the relevant feedback from Lincolnshire County Council.
· The Chairman indicated that he required greater clarity on where the responsibility would fall if problems arose and interventions were required for the children housed in the property.
Some Members expressed support for the application and thought that the location would have a positive effect on the mental health of the occupants of the property. One Member referred to other comments that had been made in relation to the potential for problems arising and interventions being required for the children placed at the property. She felt that the debate had focussed on extreme possibilities and stressed the importance for local authorities to provide dedicated services to support vulnerable children.
A Member proposed that the application be deferred, to allow time for a discussion with Lincolnshire County Council Social Services to investigate the evidence of need for the application and to seek their comments on the appropriateness of the location. The proposal was seconded.
The Interim Head of Development Management emphasised the need for the Committee to focus on material planning considerations in its deliberations. He reminded the Committee that Lincolnshire County Council had been consulted on the application but had chosen not to comment due its nature as a private project. He also referred to the concerns raised in respect of the demand for the business, stating that this wasn’t a planning consideration as the applicants had identified a need before the application had been put forward.
Members continued the debate and reiterated the concerns raised, particularly in relation to the location of the application site and felt that there was a need to substantiate the location as an appropriate site for a children’s residential care home.
It was proposed, seconded and agreed to defer the application to allow for further opportunity to investigate the evidence of need for the application and the appropriateness of the proposed location of the site for a children’s residential care home.