Bosses defend approved plans for children’s homes on these Doncaster estates

Councillors have approved a number of children’s homes on two Doncaster estates despite dozens of objections.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 10:24 am

Members of the planning committee approved plans put forward by Doncaster Children’s Trust (DCT) for two homes on Dove Lane in Woodlands and one on Cambourne Close in Adwick.

All three applications were unanimously approved by councillors.

DCT bosses who spoke in support of the applications said the small scale children’s homes would be staffed 24/7 with rotating shift patterns with residents aged between nine and 17 years-old.

Andy Wood from Doncaster children's services speaking to councillors about the three homes.

All homes have three-bedrooms with staff sleeping in one and two children in the other rooms.

The aim is that the proposed children’s home will provide accommodation which replicates a family environment and ‘normal’ day to day living.

They added securing small scale properties would save the taxpayer money as children are sometimes housed outside of the borough at great expense to social services.

A recent planning meeting heard DCT secured the final two properties on the new Keepmoat development in Woodlands.

Stephen Halliday, a neighbour who objected to the two Woodlands properties, also addressed his concerns to councillors during a recent planning meeting.

“The area has a high crime and antisocial behaviour record throughout the estates.

“The trust has told us there’s never been an issue with the homes but there were issues with the one at Scawthorpe and the police were called.

“Why has the council bought one home, missed one and then bought the next one. There’s a young couple who lives in between them both – it’s their first house and they’re bang smack in the middle of two children’s homes.

“They’re very distraught about having children’s homes either side.”

Andy Wood from DCT said there was ‘categorically’ not an increase in crime rates within communities arising from children’s homes.

He added that the vast majority of children and why they are in care is down to ‘parental neglect’.

“We’re doing something very different,” Mr Wood said.

“These are two-bed children’s homes so it feels like a family environment. We don’t think it will have the impact that the residents are concerned about. We understand what they’re saying.

“But we wouldn’t enter this project if we thought it was likely to fail. If the community has issues and it is an if, then we will respond in a timely way. We have a statutory duty to do so.”