COUNCILLORS have voted against plans for a children’s home in Tonypandy due to concerns over its suitability, location and parking.
The application for the conversion of an existing house to a residential children’s home at 142 Kenry Street in Tonypandy went before Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, October 19 and the committee voted against officers’ recommendations due to concerns over the suitability of the accommodation, lack of amenity space, the location and the lack of parking.
The plans involve an internal conversion of the property only with no external works or enlargement of the property proposed.
There is outdoor space and a detached garage to the rear and the care home would have a maximum capacity of three residents.
The plans were that when fully occupied the staffing ratio throughout the day would be a manager, a duty manager, a shift lead/ senior and two residential care workers.
Overnight, there would be two night staff with a senior or support worker on sleep and one on a waking shift.
There were nine objections submitted which say that the residential location is not suitable for the proposed use, existing parking problems along Kenry Street would be made worse, it will cause unnecessary stress and anxiety to neighbouring occupiers and affect elderly neighbours living nearby with families and young children and there are concerns associated with works undertaken though the installation of water tanks and the sprinkler system.
Other concerns include that the decision has been made prior to the submission of the application, the risk of noise, lack of information on the applicant, potential anti-social behaviour, loss of property values in area and concern about a loss of housing supply for local residents.
Planning officers recommended approval and said in the committee report: “The application site is in a predominantly residential area and a highly sustainable location with good access to public transport and key services and facilities, which is considered acceptable.
“The site also relates to an existing residential property and, other than an element of care and the presence of a small number of staff, the proposed use would continue to be residential in nature.
“Furthermore, the proposal would not involve external alterations and would not impact upon the character and appearance of the application property or upon the amenity and privacy of surrounding properties. Nor would it have any adverse impact upon highway safety in the vicinity of the site.”
But committee members disagreed and local councillor and committee member Councillor Gareth Hughes along with committee chair Councillor Sharon Rees and other committee members voiced their opposition to the plan.
Cllr Rees said she doesn’t buy the argument that it is like a traditional family environment and she said children need space and a garden and she doesn’t think this property gives them that opportunity.
Cllr Hughes said the application had caused “considerable concern” for residents and he said that parking on the street beyond 6pm is at a premium.
He also highlighted that the council’s children’s services had raised significant concerns over the application and he agreed with Cllr Rees that a children’s home use is significantly different to that of a traditional residential family home.
He said that all children deserve safe, quality homes and that it needs to be right for them, the staff and local residents.
His reasons for voting against the application were around the suitability and quality of the accommodation, the lack of amenity space, the lack of parking and the location.