Concern over plans to convert former B&B into home for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties

Residents have slammed a plan to convert a former bed and breakfast into a residential home for children with emotional needs and learning disabilities.

Saturday, 18th August 2018, 9:00 am
Updated Saturday, 18th August 2018, 3:55 pm
The former Bede Burn Road B&B which may become childrens' home

They claim their lives could be blighted by increased noise and disruption if the two-storey corner property in Bede Burn Road, Jarrow, is overhauled.

Some say they have already lodged objections with South Tyneside Council against the plans by North Tyneside-based Artemis Support Ltd.

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

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Artemis, which already operates three homes on Tyneside, wants to create a support facility for five boys aged five to 17.

But some householders are concerned having the service on their doorstep and allege not all neighbouring homes have been informed of the scheme.

It has led one resident to personally leaflet 200 properties in a bid to raise awareness.

A former teacher and mum-of-two, who did not want to be named, said: “I don’t want children who have these needs to be living close by.

“I have experience of working with young people like this and feel I should be more sympathetic, but I can’t be. I know how volatile they can be.

“They do need support and a place to live but this is not at all a suitable property for them. I received a letter informing me of the plan but my next door neighbour didn’t.

Another mum added: “It is mainly children, young families and the elderly who live around here, it is a nice, peaceful neighbourhood.

“We already have issues with parking, and having a new children’s home here can only add to the difficulties we face.

“I reckon 95 per cent of the people I’ve spoken to about this plan are against it. We want this property returned to a private home for a family to live in.”

Artemis plans to name the centre, at the junction of Reed Street, Bede House and for it to specialise in long-term placement support.

The property had been a bed and breakfast for over a decade until closure in July,

Charles Tosan, Artemis’ operations director, insisted its plan had received positive engagement from the community, and an open day is being planned to answer questions.

He added: “Artemis Support Limited, a locally owned private children’s homes care provider, is pleased to announce the acquisition of a home in South Tyneside. This will be Artemis’ fourth children’s home in the North East.

“While we are still going through the process of registration with the relevant bodies, when completed the unit would accommodate a maximum of five vulnerable children with learning disabilities from the ages of five.

“Following our success in Newcastle and Gateshead, we are pleased to be branching out into South Tyneside.

“We have already had some enquiries from residents of the local community and it is pleasing to see the positive engagement from the local community and the support for the home.

“It is also pleasing to see the local community’s empathy for and understanding of working with vulnerable young people with learning disabilities.”

He added: “Once operational, the home will create 12 to 15 jobs for people from the local community.”

Plans show a minimum of two staff would be onsite from 7am to midnight and sleep in overnight.

Each resident will have a tailored contact plan with their family, and receive 25 hours of education a week at a school or other learning facility.

To support its projects, Artemis works in partnership with residents, their parents, families or carers, social workers and with other outside agencies.

Admissions are only accepted once full details about the young person are received and an impact risk assessment is in place.