To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planing Officer regarding an application for Change of use from C3 (dwelling house) to C2 (residential institution) at 68 Billingbauk Drive, Leeds, LS13 4RX
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the change of use from C3 dwelling house to C2 residential institution at 68 Billingbaulk Drive, Leeds.
Site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· The proposal was for the change of use to a small children’s home.
· The property fell within an established residential area close to local facilities and services.
· The property was a two storey detached house with private drive access. There had been extensions to the side. There was substantial garden space and the property was surrounded by other residential properties.
· It was proposed that there would be three staff, two of whom would be resident and two children at the property at any one time.
· The only proposed amendment was internal to the garage to provide accommodation.
· It would be aimed for children aged between 8 and 18 years old.
· It was intended to condition the maximum number of children resident to three.
· There had been an objection from Children’s Services due to the number of other children’s homes in the area.
· There were other objections due to concerns regarding the safety of children at the site and potential for noise and disturbance.
· It was considered that the application was policy compliant and it was recommended for approval.
A local resident addressed the Panel with objections to the application. These included the following:
· Local residents had not been made aware of the proposals.
· There was a possibility of anti-social behaviour and noise disturbance.
· The house is being designed for older children, not 8 year olds.
· Other residents were concerned that disturbance may lead to loss of sleep and have a negative impact on the value of their houses.
· There were better suited places for a children’s home.
· If the application was approved it would be felt that the Council had failed local residents.
The applicant’s representative addressed the Panel. The following was highlighted:
· The home would be for the use of up to 3 children.
· The applicant had provided specialist care for over 15 years.
· This property would create the perfect environment for children.
· This is not a new hoe but would replace one that was currently in operation in Wortley.
· All necessary risk assessments and safeguarding protocols had been carried out and considered.
· The property had substantial borders and planting to maintain privacy.
· There was ample off street parking.
· The lease on the existing home runs out in September and temporary accommodation would have to be sought which would provide a break in Children’s care and also put extra pressure on Council resources.
· Some of the objections were from residents who did not live nearby.
· Planning Officers felt that the application was policy compliant and the Panel was asked to support the recommendation for approval.
· In response to questions, the following was discussed:
o As part of the risk assessment, nearby children’s homes had to be identified. These offered a different kind of care to what the applicant was offering.
o The applicant intended to purchase the property.
o Although it was a six bedroom property, it was limited to three children as two bedrooms would be reserved for staff and the other to be used for ancillary purposes.
o Letters had been sent to immediate neighbours with regard to the proposals and these gave the applicant’s contact details.
In response to questions and comments from the Panel, the following was discussed:
· There was sufficient parking at the property and there should not be any overspill parking.
· It was clear that there was no planning provision to refuse this application.
· Whether it was necessary to condition the application to limit the number of children to three. This could be covered by other regulations.
· Members broadly agreed that the proposals were suitable for the location.
· There had not been any evidence with anti-social behaviour with other children’s homes in the local area.
· Members felt that it was appropriate to make a decision on the application without further input from Children’s Services.
· The Children’s Services representation was made as it was preferable to spread children’s homes more evenly across the district.
· The number of staff and residents had been restricted to try and keep the use of the house similar to that of a typical family home.
A motion was made to approve the officer recommendation subject to the removal of the following conditions:
o Restrictions on numbers of residents that reside at the site at any one time to three.
o Restrictions on number of resident staff on site at any one time to three.
RESOLVED – That the application be approved as per the officer recommendation and conditions outlined in the report. Conditions 3 and 4 to be removed.