Anger flares over children’s home consultation

The former  B&B which may become childrens'  home
The former B&B which may become childrens' home

Planning chiefs are facing a backlash from residents over a bid to open a home for children with emotional needs and learning disabilities in South Tyneside.

Officials have been accused of failing to carry out widespread notification of the application for the former bed and breakfast in Bede Burn Road, Jarrow.

Householders claim fewer than 30 letters giving information about North Tyneside-based Artemis Housing Ltd’s proposal have been distributed.

And they say more than half were sent to people with learning disabilities who live in a supported living complex opposite.

The council say they sent out 27 letters informing nearby residents of the proposal - as required by national guidelines.

Residents say the council should make their notification process wider and more transparent.

Artemis wants to turn the corner terraced property in to a home for five children, aged five to 17.

Some residents claim their lives could be blighted by increased noise and disruption – and have already lodged official objections.

One resident said: “South Tyneside Council has failed to ask most of the local residents about their feelings on this matter.

“Sixteen of those letters were sent to people of Danesfield care home. Danesfield is a home for vulnerable adults, many of whom can neither read nor write.”

Artemis provides short to long-term care for children and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The home would be for children with social, emotional and mental health needs and mild learning disabilities and focus on supporting independent living.

One resident is so concerned by the council’s consultation that they have personally leafleted 200 properties in a bid to raise awareness.

Artemis has claimed it has widespread public support for the scheme but has admitted it will hold an open day to engage with residents.

It did not comment on the consultation allegations.

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council cinfirmed that it sent out 27 letters.

She added: “We follow national policy in determining planning applications. This includes a statutory requirement to notify any adjoining owner or occupier.

“As Danesfield is a residential block opposite the proposed site, we have a duty to inform each individual householder of that property.”