Coventry children's care home gets approval despite "massive concern" among residents

37 Daventry Road could be converted into a children's care home
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)


A new children's home has been approved in Coventry despite "massive concern" among residents. A semi-detached house on Daventry Road in Cheylesmore will be converted into a care home for four children.

Permission was granted by the council on Wednesday, 29 May. It followed a vote by councillors in favour of giving the scheme approval last week.

Their decision came after more than 100 people signed a petition calling for the council to reject the plans. Several residents spoke out against the scheme at last week's meeting, raising concerns over anti-social behaviour, disturbance, traffic and parking.

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A mother of two very young children living close to the house said: "The children from the care homes, they're children that have had not the easiest start in life. We are worried that they might have problems with managing their emotions, managing their behaviour."

She added: "We're worried about the anti-social behaviour side where our children might be witness to aggression, to a lot of bad language. We're worried about them seeing evidence of perhaps substance abuse."

Another neighbour claimed it would harm the "quiet enjoyment" of the area for locals. She said a care home in a semi-detached property seems "inappropriate" given its closeness to other homes.

Cheylesmore councillor Roger Bailey, speaking on behalf of locals, said parking on the road is a "nightmare" and stressed the driveway has just two spaces. The opposition Conservative Cllr noted that a "good number" of residents had come to the meeting, adding: "there's a massive concern here."

But others defended the scheme. An agent for the applicant said it meets parking standards and comings and goings would be "no more than a typical family dwelling."

He said the home's use is regulated, there will be trained support workers and it will have to follow strict guidance from Ofsted. "Children who will live in the home need a safe and secure community, and should not automatically be viewed as a threat," he added.

On anti-social behaviour and disturbance concerns, he said: "The children are not expected to intrude onto the community." A council officer also told the meeting: "We don't know that there's going to be anti-social behaviour," adding: "You can have anti-social behaviour within families and such as well."

A report by council officers before the meeting recommended the scheme for approval. The city solicitor also told councillors anti-social behaviour, fear of crime and noise have all been assessed.

Discussing the decision, Cllr Kevin Maton said he found it "difficult" to see how it is any different from anybody else wanting to live in a house. He said the key point is how it would operate, adding that it is "very well regulated."

Cllr Maton, from the ruling Labour group, highlighted that other 4-bedroom children's care homes are run in the city. The aim of these is to avoid "institutional" large properties which are not seen to be children's best interests, he said.

"It would be preferable if children could be in a foster care home but we have a huge shortage of foster carers," he added. Summing up, committee chair Cllr Lindsley Harvard echoed this view.

He said: "It has been said wouldn't it be better to have children in foster home situations rather than in these homes. Yes it would, but the problem is we just can't get enough foster parents."

Almost all councillors at the meeting voted to give the scheme permission, with one abstention.

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