RESIDENTS, councillors and even Carmarthenshire’s Children’s Services have objected strongly to a planning application for change of use of a property at Erw Las in Llwynhendy from a class C3 residential dwelling to a class C2 Children’s home. The application (S/39358) has been made by Asbri Planning on behalf of Fresh Start Care Ltd.

Objections to the plans have been made by numerous local residents, the local rural and county councillor Sharen Davies and neighbouring county councillor Deryk Cundy. Carmarthenshire’s Children’s Services have also lodged an objection.

Signs objecting to the children’s home/hostel have appeared on the road leading to and from the property in question and residents claim that these signs have been defaced.

One resident who did not wish to be named told us that locals feel intimidated by the activity around the property and that the change of use is totally out of keeping with the area. The neighbours of the property have also lodged a lengthy objection, which can be viewed along with all other responses on the county council’s website planning portal.

When asked if it was a case of NIMBYism the residents said that the strength of feeling against the home was extremely strong but warranted following what they claim were reports in newspapers of problems at homes owned by the company.

Objecting to the change of use Cllr Sharen Davies cited the impact of noise on the attached and other neighbouring property. Not enough off road parking. Accidents on the through road, due to heavy traffic and speeding. No identified provision for cycling on the road. Flood risks.

Cllr Deryk Cundy cited his objections including the change of use being unsuitable for the local area. Lack of involvement by the local authority. Inappropriateness of the property being a  small semi‐detached property in a residential area fronting onto a busy road. Lack of parking space. No guarantees on the safety of the residents of the property. No details of the qualifications of the staff employed. Concerns by a large number of the local residents, many who are old, concerning their security and safety. No local consultation.

Carmarthenshire’s Children’s Services also objected stating:

“Carmarthenshire Children’s Services do not use private residential homes for our looked after
children so the proposed centre will be utilised by outside local authorities. Carmarthenshire is
already a net receiver of a large number of looked after children and young people from other
local authority areas – we currently have a population of out of county LAC almost the same size
as our own LAC population. We object to the planning application on the basis that this will
contribute to an increase in the volume already entering and residing in the area.
There is also the additional work experienced by our Central Referral Team and Assessment
Teams for many of the out of county young people who have complex needs, challenging
behaviour and often go missing. Plus the pressure on schools and school places and services
which are expected to be provided for the out of county young people.”

Fresh Start Care Ltd addressed many of the issues in their original planning application (below). It remains to be seen whether or not this will satisfy the council’s planning committee.

Freshstart Care are committed to providing a positive impact on the lives of young people by creating an environment in which young people are encouraged to thrive, develop and mature. Their mission statement is as follows:

“To provide emotional, physical support and care to young people in a safe and nurturing environment. We will give
young people the opportunity to thrive, develop and feel empowered within our home. Staff will work with integrity
and commitment to achieve positive outcomes for young people”
Freshstart Care staff will:
• Provide empathy, attention and support to work towards a positive future;
• Ensure the young people’s health needs are met;
• Encourage and explain the importance of education and assist in homework activities;
• Meet the needs of the young people so they can develop confidence and enable them to achieve a sense
of fulfilment and achievement;
• Listen to the young people, whose opinions will be respected and acted upon;
• Provide the young people with a wide range of exciting activities; and
• Encourage the young people to join clubs

Management and Staffing Arrangements
Freshstart Care staff are the most important aspect of the service. Freshstart Care will pride itself on employing the most qualified, dedicated and experienced staff.

There will always be adequate experienced staff on shift and relief staff will be provided in times of sickness or annual leave.

The young people will build meaningful relationships with staff at the home due to the quality of their care.

The staffing structure is clear – tasks will be allocated down the hierarchical management system. The responsible individual will oversee the manager, who will supervise the day-to-day organisation of the home.

The quality of care will be monitored and reviewed by the manager on a monthly basis.

New staff will receive an in-depth induction and training program where they will be trained in many areas relating to effective childcare practices.

All staff will be trained in first aid, fire safety, food safety, medication and health and safety.

 

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