Neighbours object to children's home plan for residential cul-de-sac

Large four-bedroom property at 14 Barry Close with cars on pavement in front, on sunny day
-Credit: (Image: Linda Lyn-Cook)

More than 50 locals have objected to a plan to turn a four-bedroom family property into a children's care home in Radcliffe-on-Trent. The property would be home to two young people who experience "emotional and behavioural difficulties", as well as the members of staff who look after them.

An application for the property was sent to Rushcliffe Borough Council by East Midlands-based business Footsteps to Futures in April. But the online application has since received dozens of public comments, many from neighbours and parents in the vicinity who don't agree with the idea.

Zoe Birch commented: "The nature of a children's home, particularly caring for those with negative behaviours, will destroy the character of the area, which is currently a quiet, residential estate, with a mixture of young families and elderly neighbours."

Barry Close sits in the centre of the new-build Princes Place development off Shelford Road. The first homes were moved into there in 2022, but the neighbourhood is far from finished.

Many residents have raised the fact that, when they purchased the homes from developer William Davis, they were told that the properties were not for use as businesses.

Footsteps to Futures takes children referred from local councils. The home would likely house children who have been taken into care as a result of neglect/abuse, mental health issues or autistic spectrum disorder, or children who can't live within larger groups, a letter from the company said.

While the property would not change from what it currently looks like externally, locks would be installed on all the doors inside and out, and alarms would be put on bedroom doors so that staff are aware when a child has left.

But the detailed description of how the home would integrate into the residential area has not done much to appease locals. Dr Ann Dean stated in her objection: "Families who moved to the estate were not told that such a home might be opened nearby. It is hard enough already to raise teenagers and keep them away from drugs in this village."

Melanie Armstrong said: "This dwelling is definitely not appropriate. I'm shocked it's even been proposed in a village especially on an estate with families who have young children, also how many of our young impressionable children could be groomed when having fun at the rec? Scary thought."

And Vicki Alabraba said bluntly: "I do not want my children potentially being in contact with those who may reside here."

Notably, however, the Radcliffe-on-Trent Parish Council did not object - and neither did the home's immediate next-door neighbour. But Joanne Mora, who lives off a street further down Shelford Road, said: "Please put yourself in the shoes of the people who are living here already. It is not a good plan, simply a money-making one."