Children's home rejected on crime by association

Concerns over crime and antisocial behaviour have prompted an inspector to dismiss plans to convert a dwelling in a quiet residential area of Greater Manchester to a children's home.

The home would cater for four young people aged between eight and 17, with two adult carers at the property at all times but not permanently resident. The inspector felt this arrangement distinguished the proposal from a traditional dwellinghouse. While acknowledging local residents’ concerns about comings and goings arising from the proposed use, he felt that it would be on small enough a scale to be similar to a normal dwellinghouse in use terms and would not result in unacceptable noise and disturbance.

However, he was concerned by police evidence of antisocial behaviour and criminality very near the site. In his view, this could result in future occupants forming relationships with poorly behaved local children and perpetuating antisocial behaviour, resulting in a deterioration of local residents’ amenities. He refused the proposal on this basis alone. He rejected a claim for costs against the council, finding that it exercised its duty to determine the planning application in a reasonable manner, despite the time taken to reach a  decision, and had not put the applicant to unnecessary expense.

Inspector: Andrew McGlone; Written representations

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