APPLICANTS seeking to use a property as a children's home have accused the council of grossly exaggerating "the likely number of comings and goings" at the house in refusing initial plans.

A new application had been submitted to the council seeking the certificate of lawfulness for a children's home for two young people and two live in carers at 171 Vulcan Park Way, Newton-le-Willows.

The applicant said the council "has grossly over exaggerated the likely number of comings and goings" at the property in refusing an initial bid.

In rejecting the first application, the council said: "It is considered that the increased level of activity that would occur on a daily basis associated with the proposed use would be more intensive and constant than might reasonably be expected to be generated by a dwellinghouse".

The local authority said formal planning permission would be needed.

However, new plans have been drawn up, which state: "This application is to ensure that the property acquired will meet the necessary planning requirements and will also be able to achieve Ofsted registration".

It adds the Knightsbridge Property Group's mission is to "provide stability through inclusive, safe and nurturing care".

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A planning statement adds: "It is proposed that two children would live at the house, with two carers working on a rota basis sleeping overnight. A manager would visit the site periodically over the week.

"There would be the occasional visit by a social worker or clinician. It is important to understand that the current approval for one child already allows for such visits and the addition of an extra child would not double these visits".

It says: "It was wrongly assumed in the first application that there would be regularly four carers at one time in the property looking after two children. Such a level of provision would not be required, although on occasions, i.e. not a normal occurrence, an additional carer could come to the house".

The document adds: "There is no limit on the size of ‘family’ that can occupy a dwelling house and it is possible this dwelling could be occupied by a relatively large family". It says it is possible without planning permission for a property to "be used and occupied by up to six people, who are not related as a family, but live together as a single household" and that such a use "would arguable generate more comings and goings than the proposed use".

It concludes: "It is maintained that the nature of the proposed use will not be materially different from a normal household".