Planning approval submitted for new children’s care home


A new care home for up to two children could become available in Bedford if plans are approved.

Bedford Borough Council has received a retrospective change of use application to convert a family home to a ‘residential institution’.

The applicants said the three-bedroom home in Aspley Road, Bedford would change to a registered home that is “eligible to receive placement referrals from local authorities”, albeit formal registration is “awaited”.

If approved it would care for up to two children aged up to 17 years, who may be referred by the council, but it is also possible they may come from out of the area.

This would be for “medium to long-term placements”, with the actual period determined through agreement with the referring local authority.

And if the property could offer the “appropriate long-term care”.

The reasons for referrals will include, but not be limited to, family breakdowns, abuse, neglect and learning issues.

The applicants added that it has been operating as a residential institution since 28 September 2023, and there have been “no issues or complaints from neighbours or other parties”.

Supervision would be provided by two to four staff (in-house) working on a two-shift rota (08:00-20:00 and 20:00-08:00).

The night-time shift would have staff adopting a waking-nights policy, so one staff member will be awake.

The applicants said the purpose is to provide a “safe and welcoming family home” environment for the child.

They added the proposed change of use will “not be out of keeping” with the character and appearance of the area.

More information can be found on the council’s planning portal, reference 23/02336/S73A.

The overall consultation expiry date is Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

The applicant stated on the application form that they were not the sole owner of the land for more than 21 days prior to the application being made, but that the requisite notice has been given to the relevant parties.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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