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Cambridgeshire village ‘Nimbys’ try to halt children’s care home

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Huntingdonshire District Council planners have given short thrift to a Nimbyism campaign by 41 objectors to a £550,000 house switching to a care home for FOUR children.

The 11 to 17-year-olds would be looked- after by two full-time staff and the home run by Cambian Group which has experience in looking after youngsters with learning and emotional difficulties.

Cambian want to buy the property at West End, Brampton, and the parish council says if walls and foliage are removed to create better access, they would agree it.

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Huntingdonshire District Council development management committee will consider the application September 19, with a recommendation for approval.

And they will be backed by 27 letters recommending Cambian gets the permission it wants.

Objections include:

*Poor pedestrian and vehicle access.

*Existing traffic congestion caused by buses and HGVs which will be exacerbated by the proposed lack of parking and additional vehicle movements.

*Additional traffic will be the cause of safety concerns for existing pedestrians using West End.

*Environmental impact of additional car travel.

*Noise and disturbance from the proposed use.

*Increased overlooking and loss of privacy.

*Safety of future residents due to flood risk and proximity to water.

*Fear of crime – increased risk of antisocial behaviour.

*Additional pressure on local services and infrastructure.

*Doctor’s surgery is already overwhelmed.

*Errors and inaccuracies within the application.

*Site could be used for alternative care use/provision.

*Questions whether the hedgerow across the frontage be retained and protected.

 *Questions whether the emergency services have been consulted on the application.

*No provision for bin storage or waste collection.

*Advice or guidance was not obtained from the local planning authority prior to the submission.

*Harm to the character of the neighbourhood.

*Flood risk issues, the stream at the back has caused flooding previously.

*The property should remain a private family home.

Photographs and videos of the parking and congestion experienced along West End have also been submitted to supplement the objections raised.

Of the 27 letters of support, these are summarised, too, by planning officers.

*The development will provide a suitable, secure home and community for vulnerable children.

*Individuals need care, and this is an appropriate setting.

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*Residents will be monitored thus reduced chance of noise and disturbance.

*Large driveway for parking.

*Large garden to meet children’s needs.

*Great need for homes like this in street settings.

*Increased community diversity and inclusivity.

*There is a senior school within walking, cycling and bus distance

*Additional expenditure to the local economy

*The concerns/objections raised would continue to apply to the occupants of the existing dwelling and those in surrounding properties

Officers say “non-planning/ non-material matters” raised include:

*The existing 20mph speed limit is not being enforced.

*More needs to be done to tackle existing illegal activity in the village.

*Rehoming residents in the event of a flood will cost the taxpayer.

*Supervision of residents whilst off-site should be paid for by the applicant and not taxpayers.

*Cost to taxpayers of providing school transport. *Risk of creating a precedent.

*Alternative property/site available elsewhere in the village.

*Reputation of the care provider.

*Quality of the care to be provided.

*The nature, scale and location of other care facilities operated by the applicant.

*The property has been unable to sell as a conventional dwelling.

*The property has been vastly extended in the past.

*Unauthorised insertion of Juliette balcony.

*Objections raised by the current property owners to previous planning applications in the locality.

*The decision of other local planning authorities when considering similar change of use applications.

*Advice or guidance was not obtained from the local planning authority prior to the submission.

Officers will tell the committee: “Many comments received have raised matters which are not relevant to planning.

“And not relevant to the application and/or are beyond the scope or control of the local planning authority in determining the planning application.

“The matters above should not therefore be given any weight as material planning considerations in the determination of the application.”

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