Worksop: G4S withdraw children’s care home application

A planning application for a care home for ‘at risk’ teens in Worksop has been withdrawn temporarily, the Guardian can reveal.

By Liam Norcliffe
Wednesday, 1st April 2015, 11:25 am
Site of proposed children's home off Stubbing Lane, Worksop
Site of proposed children's home off Stubbing Lane, Worksop

G4S Children’s Services have said proposed plans for the centre on Meadow Holme Farm, Stubbing Lane, has been halted so that local residents can be fully consulted.

The company will now initiate a series of meetings with councillors and people in the area.

Coun Kevin Greaves, for Worksop south, had previously said he was ‘furious’ and said it was almost like they were trying to ‘sneak’ through the application.

Care support worker positions were already being advertised on the G4S website before planning permission had been granted.

Paul Cook, managing director of G4S Children’s Services, said: “Identifying homes is a significant challenge, and local residents and neighbours are right to demand details of our plans and appropriate assurances on the impact they may have on the surrounding community.”

“In this instance, it has become clear that both G4S Children’s Services and Nottinghamshire County Council have not yet secured the support or understanding of local people in areas adjacent to the homes we have proposed and for that reason we are withdrawing our planning applications in order to consult more fully.”

The council and G4S Children’s Services have been working together to identify new sites for children’s homes.

G4S also recently submitted plans for a change of use of facilities for properties into homes in Nuthall and Kirkby - which have also been withdrawn.

Youngsters would stay in the homes, which would occupy around five youths, if they are subject to a court order, are in the care of a local authority, if their parents are unwell, if they experience family problems or due to foster care breakdown.

Mr Cook added: “We are immensely proud of the work we do for children on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, and look forward to having an opportunity to discuss our work in more detail with people who either live close to our proposed homes or who might be interested in our work to provide a future to some of Nottinghamshire’s most vulnerable young people.”

Last week, Steve Edwards, service director for children’s social care at Notts County Council, said: “The council is conscious of the fact that G4S has moved quickly to establish these places and in the light of public concerns we have agreed with them that they will pause their purchasing and planning activities to allow us a undertake a full consultation with local people over the coming weeks.”

“We are very aware that this issue is a sensitive one and we want to listen to the views of local people.”