Special Needs home: plans blocked by residents

9 Apr

This is a truly disgusting story, where residents are simply thinking about themselves, rather than thinking of inclusion within the community. Why does this not surprise me, coming from the North of England where the first BNP MEP was seated.

From a local Bolton Paper: NEIGHBOURS’ opposition to plans for sheltered accommodation for people with special needs has prompted developers to withdraw the proposals.

Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust, which wanted to transform Stocks House, in Chorley Old Road, Horwich, from a house and physiotherapy practice into seven self-contained flats for hospital patrons with learning difficulties, has withdrawn the application.

The plans included staff accommodation to care for the residents, who would need 24-hour support.

In just over three weeks, 109 people had written to Bolton Council to object against the plans, another 10 people had commented and only two people had written in support.

In a letter to Bolton Council’s planning department, IWA Architects said: “In light of the strong and ever growing community unrest regarding the change of use of Stocks House in Horwich, our client Calderstones NHS has come to the decision that it is unlikely that they will be able to change the opinions of the local residents and that they no longer wish to pursue this scheme.”

People had objected to the plans because of security concerns over the types of people who would be living in the flats, and the proximity of the building to two nurseries and a primary school. They also called for a public consultation on the issue.

Thomas Bromley, the owner of Horwich Playcare, based in the Old Parish Hall, said: “My concern is for the safety of the children in our care as we have no information about the type of people Calderstones will bring into this area.”

Stocks Park Drive resident Janet Harrison wrote in support of the plans and said it was an “ideal change of use” that would have “minimal” impact on the surrounding homes.

David Young, chief executive of Calderstones which is the UK’s only learning disability NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are working with residents and senior councillors in Bolton because we want to be able to bring Bolton people back into their own area.

“We have not yet found a property where everything has been right but, when we do, I can assure you we’ll be working closely with local people to ensure we get things right and everyone understands what’s happening.”

I would welcome your thoughts on this?

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