Controversial plans for a home for children with trauma in Ludlow have been given the green light

Leafway, Ludlow. Photo: Google

Dimensions Care had applied to turn the house in Sheet Road, Ludlow, into a home environment for five children aged six to 17 with social and emotional needs, but it divided the community between residents ready to welcome needy young people and people worried about a range of issues, including loss of property values.

Shropshire Council planners rejected calls by Councilor Viv Parry for the matter to be taken to the Planning Commission and decided that it could be dealt with at officer level under delegated powers.

Council planners said: “All comments received in relation to the proposal have been taken into account in making a recommendation on this application.

“It concerns, among other things, the possible depreciation of existing real estate, which can generally be given little weight.”

Objections to the plan also claimed there was “lack of publicity and consultation”, but the planners ruled that it had been published in accordance with the rules.

They decided that the principle of the development is “considered acceptable”.

“The acceptability of the proposal on detailed utility and highway grounds has been assessed as acceptable, subject to recommended planning conditions,” they said.

The operators will have to submit a noise management plan to the municipality for approval.

Reactions from locals were mixed, with some saying they didn’t want any trouble in the neighborhood and others offering to welcome the children to the city.

Dimensions Care has told Shropshire Council planners it is looking to “care for children who have suffered trauma in their past”. They will have a trained staff team that takes a therapeutic approach and provide a family home structure with routines for all children.

The company says it has written to all neighbors to talk about what it is doing.

One resident complains that it is “not suitable for the neighbourhood”.

“A child to staff ratio of 1:1 suggests the most serious behavioral needs and with up to five children I’m concerned there will be too much disturbance and noise.

“This doesn’t sound like living next door to a family and it wouldn’t be consistent with preserving the community.”

Other objectors are concerned about increasing traffic on a busy road during personnel changes.

But one supporter said: “We strongly oppose and are shocked by the highly offensive, objectionable comments of negative bias and misconception, which project harmful and malicious stereotypes of children in care.

“The deplorable, terrifying comments directed at vulnerable children with social and behavioral challenges who have experienced trauma are a stark, disturbing reminder that discrimination is a constant challenge that vulnerable people in society face every day, which is extremely distressing.”

Another supporter said, “Most people in Ludlow will welcome these kids to our community. I’ll be the first to knock on their door with freshly baked pies to welcome them all!”

Another said: “Life is tough for so many young people and they benefit greatly from this kind of care, especially in a community where they can develop the skills and social relationships necessary for a happy and healthy adulthood.

“Please let them become worthy members of this community.”

City councilor Viv Parry reflected the views of local objectors in her comments.

She has told planners, “In general, most people feel that this property is not a good fit for this area and should be in the open countryside where they can run around in the sun.”

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