Dudley residents are angry over a plan to open a children’s home in former offices

the home
the home

Planning agent Malm Consulting has submitted an application for a change of use for a detached house in Priory Road in Dudley, known as Tracey Wilder House.

But campaigners claim the site is inappropriate following allegations of anti-social behaviour.

Priory Road resident Tracey Hill said: “The site already houses young people although it has not yet been approved.

“We are very concerned, not because it is a home for children, because we know they have to be taken care of somewhere, but whether the peace and tranquility of the street will be disturbed or not.

“Just a few nights ago, there was a commotion and residents reported hearing screaming. We learned that the police were later called.

“This area is usually a quiet community with young families and older residents who are now feeling intimidated by young people gathering outside their front doors.

“We are concerned for the safety of our young children and people who have been living here for a long time. We will object to the application at a meeting on Wednesday.”

Councilor representing the Castle and Priory ward, Karl Denning, said residents had contacted him about the plans.

“We fully support objectors and will oppose them. West Midlands Police don’t often object to things, but they do – so we think this site is inappropriate.”

“There is another children’s home nearby where officers recorded 40 phone calls in August alone, and there have already been problems at the Priory Road site.”

The planning application states: “Consent is being obtained for a change of use from office to care home. This care home will be operated specifically as a children’s residential home for up to two children. The children will be aged between seven and 17 years.

“The proposed facility aims to provide care for young people in the short to medium term, with the expectation that the children will then move into permanent families.

“The facility will also receive emergency referrals on a short-term basis (for example during the transitional period between care home to foster family, for reasons of convenience or due to a referral based on the health and physical aspect of the home).

“The applicant confirms that the children will be classified as low risk, have no history of violence, and are willing to participate in all activities both educational and physical.

“The children will be educated off-site, within regular schools.”

Members of Dudley’s planning committee are due to make a decision on the plans on Wednesday.

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