South Tyneside Council gets green light for Jarrow children's' home
South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee, at a meeting this week, voted to approve plans for a property at Fieldway in Jarrow.
Plans from the council aimed to change the use of a residential property to a children’s home for “up to two young persons”.
It was noted that the site would be staffed 24 hours per day, with 10 employees in total working a shift pattern.
South Tyneside Council, as the applicant, said there would be a maximum of three staff on-site at any one time, and that staff would travel to the site via a mixture of private vehicle and public transport.
During a council consultation exercise on the application, however, public objections were received from three properties at Fieldway.
Concerns were raised about the potential for noise and disruption from the site, anti-social behaviour and “upset to families” in the area, as well as parking issues and the “loss of a dwelling house”.
One objector, speaking at the meeting, acknowledged the need for children’s homes in South Tyneside but raised concerns about the suitability of the Fieldway development and impacts on the local community.
This included the potential for anti-social behaviour, as well as concerns about the increased number of visitors to the children’s home from council staff, social workers and other visitors, such as Ofsted.
Calls were made for the children’s home plan to be put on hold to revisit staffing, policing and highway safety information linked to the application.
Council planning officers, who recommended the scheme for approval, said the change of use was acceptable, that there was available parking and that Northumbria Police had not raised any objections.
A representative for applicant South Tyneside Council added the development would be managed by professionals and would provide a “long-term” home for residents.
It was noted that staff handovers, where several staff would be on site, would normally take up to 30 minutes.
After being put to the vote, South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to approve the planning application.
Councilor Lynne Proudlock said the children’s home would provide “stability” for residents and proposed the application to be approved.
Councillor Eileen Leask added the children’s home would provide a family home for two children with responsible staff “on duty”.
Cllr Leask continued: “I just don’t see what the objections are, this is a home for two children who desperately need a home and supervision.
“It’s just putting them in a normal house to be normal […] quite honestly, I have no objections whatsoever to this and I think it’s a very good application.”
Under planning conditions, the children’s home development must be brought forward within three years.