Residents’ concern over Isle children’s homes

Residents in two Isle villages are in fear for the future after hearing of controversial plans for children’s homes to look after vulnerable youngsters.

Wednesday, 5th November 2014, 9:54 am
Councillor John Briggs pictured by the Eastoft village sign. Picture: Marie Caley NEPB 28-10-14 Eastoft Sign MC 1

Concerns about anti social behaviour, the safety of villagers and their properties, and a lack of facilities such as parking are among the issues highlighted around proposals for homes at The Old Moorings in Eastoft and The Old Barn in Low Burnham.

As previously reported in the Bells, Cambrian Group plc had applied to North Lincolnshire Council for a lawful development certificate for the Eastoft site which would house four 12 to 18-year-olds. It has been revealed, however, that at least two children are already being cared for in the home.

The manager of the site was invited to a meeting of Eastoft Parish Council last week to discuss concerns, but declined. The council has now written to every household asking for their feedback.

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North Lincolnshire Council Axholme North ward members Coun John Briggs said: “I went to this meeting to realistically listen to the reaction from residents. They were very, very concerned about the nature of what was happening.

“I can understand that, as an organisation has moved into a very small rural community and in my view they’ve not gone through the right processes. I have called it in to the planning committee to consider the views of the local community.”

He added: “I’m really concerned, some young people have had very difficult lives for whatever reason and there’s a proper and correct place where assistance can be given. A community without a shop, a regular bus service, evening activities, is that the right place to put them?”

One concerned resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are two children in there already. It’s not local children, they are being brought in from all over the country, they are abused children and they’re going to be here until they’re grown up.

“The village is completely against it. My concern is for the children, the property has no garden whatsoever, they are not allowed out. It’s a busy road going through Eastoft.”

And she asked: “Will there be an impact on village properties, will people want to move to Eastoft? It’s a very difficult position we’re in.”

Meanwhile a further application for a lawful development certificate for a proposed use of The Old Barn, Owston Ferry Road, Low Burnham, was submitted to North Lincolnshire Council last week by Debra Deeks of Absolute Children’s Servives Ltd based in Leek. A number of objections have been received to this, villager Ahmed Masoud said: “This is a hamlet residential area that has no facilities for young children. The demographics of all the residents are mainly retired people who are seeking peace and quiet. Furthermore the street where the premises are is such a narrow street that doesn’t have sufficient parking spaces for employees or visitors.

“The nearest town is Epworth which is reached via the A161 which is an extremely busy road day and night. This is a cause of concern for the proposed residents age group.”

Ian Bowmer who also lives in the village said: “This is the second attempt to get permission to use the property to care for four young people and to have two carers also living in. The reasons that it had over 20 objections only last month have not changed. The village of Low Burnham is not suitable for a care home for young people for many reasons.”

Miss Dawn Allen said: “Children need stimuli, not to be cooped up in a house with ‘carers’.” Alistair Lindsay said: “I believe there is a real risk of anti-social behaviour which is surely a completely unacceptable risk in this peaceful residential village.”

Efforts to contact Absolute Children’s Services Ltd about this were unsuccessful.