Concerns over children’s home

Martindale, on Moss Side Lane, Wrea Green, could become a children's home.
Martindale, on Moss Side Lane, Wrea Green, could become a children's home.

VILLAGERS have raised concerns over plans for a new children’s home in their neighbourhood.

A move has been made to open a home at Martindale, Moss Side, Wrea Green,

The proposal is for an existing detached property to be used by up to four children aged 11-17, a carer and a non-resident carer.

An application has been sent to Fylde Borough Council, but it is for a “certificate of lawfulness” and may not need planning permission to go ahead.

But residents have complained they know little or nothing about it.

Chrissie Wheatman, Wrea Green Parish Council chairman, said: “I have had some phone calls from some concerned people in the village. I think it is people who live nearby who found out about it. We are aware of it from Fylde Borough Council and it will be put on the agenda at the next meeting of the parish council.”

Fylde councillor Frank Andrews, who represents Wrea Green, said: “If it is to help young children, of course, I don’t think many people in the village would be upset about it.

“But if it is a profit making borstal we don’t want it.”

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “We will determine whether it is to be classed as a change of use and whether it will need planning permission. We expect to decide that probably within the next two weeks.

“This is purely about a point of law as to whether it is classed as a change of use. We aren’t consulting with people on what is a point of law. If it is decided where they needed to make a planning application, people will be consulted and have the opportunity to have their say in the normal way.

“The decision as to whether they do need planning permission will be made by officers because it is purely a point of law. If they don’t need planning permission, they will be free just to make the changes as and when they want to.

“The type of factors officers will be looking at is the type of care the children are receiving, the number of carers and the ages of the children.”

The nature of the care of the children is not known. The applicant is a Mr and Mrs Sloane who declined to comment.