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Children’s home in Nottinghamshire set for approval despite police and resident concerns

Plans for a small children’s home in Worksop are expected to be approved despite resident and police concerns over existing anti-social behaviour problems.

Applicant Sal Integrated Care has asked to change the use of a detached dwelling to a children’s home for a maximum of four children with two carers sleeping overnight.

The house in Manton would care for children between the ages of eight and 18. It would be subject to annual inspections by Ofsted.

The plans will be discussed at a Bassetlaw District Council planning meeting on March 29.

Sal Integrated Care said it specialises in supporting children who sometimes display emotional and behavioural difficulties linked to experiences of
neglect and abuse.

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The home would house young people on a long-term basis as opposed to temporary accommodation.

But Nottinghamshire Police said there are a “number of concerns with regard to the location of this proposal”.

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They said the primary concern is that vulnerable children could leave the home and be deemed as missing, resulting in the police commencing an investigation.

They added that the level of Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) within Manton amongst 10 to 16-year-olds is already a primary concern for residents in the area.

They said: “Statistics also show that the Manton area does have high levels of reported Crime and ASB compared to other areas in the UK generally and as a consequence the introduction of a Children’s Home to this area does raise concern for the Local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

“Experience of similar homes also suggests there is an increased risk of children at the home being exploited for the purposes of ‘county lines’ drug trafficking and sexual exploitation.”

And a number of residents have objected to the plans with a petition from six properties stating that the location is unsuitable.

A further seven objectors raised concerns over safeguarding, noise and traffic associated with the home and worries that the home may “exacerbate” existing anti social behaviour issues.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Family Services said it was in support of the plans.

They said: “The County Council acting as Corporate Parent for children in care is always inclined to look favourably on proposals like this one to establish new residential homes for children in care within Nottinghamshire.

“Consistent with the national picture, there are not enough residential settings within Nottinghamshire to provide a local home for all of the local children that are taken into Local Authority care so new proposals are always welcomed as a means of addressing this shortfall.”

Council documents stated: “Much of the concern relates to the perceived risk associated with the residents.

“It should be reiterated that those who will be homed will be vulnerable young people who are in need of support and care and will benefit from 24 hour care from 2-3 members of staff at any one time.

“As such, the children and young people will not be unsupervised and the risks are considered to be low. Along with noise issues, any significant concerns could be taken up with the management of the property in the first instance and if there were any genuine concerns in respect of crime taking place then the Police should be approached.”

Nottinghamshire Police said if the plans are approved, a management plan is required with details of how the premises will be operated, managed, and conflict resolution procedures for issues that may affect the local neighbourhood.

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