Agenda item

Planning application - MC/24/0107 2 Second Avenue, Gillingham, Medway, ME7 2HX

Watling Ward

Change of use from Class C3 (Dwellinghouse) to Class C2 (Children's Care Home).




Councillor Stamp withdrew from the meeting to speak as Ward Councillor and Councillor Jones, the Vice Chairperson, chaired this agenda item.


The Planner outlined the application in detail for the change of use from Class C3 (Dwellinghouse) to Class C2 (Children's Care Home).


With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Stamp addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and raised concerns on behalf of several local residents:


  • Kent Police had recommended CCTV be installed, local residents considered this would be detrimental to their privacy and wellbeing for those living in Glebe Road and Barnsole Road. They suggested there would be a significant loss of privacy, overlooking, noise, disturbance and anti-social behaviour.
  • Local residents had not been consulted which had caused stress and anxiety especially as the demographic of the area was predominantly of retirement age.
  • Second Avenue was a very busy street which was becoming a “rat run”, often leaving just a single lane despite it being a 2 way street.  Concerns were expressed about the shortage of on-street parking. 
  • Residents believed that the proposal was contrary to Local Plan policy.


The Committee discussed the planning application in detail noting the points raised by the Ward Councillor and Members expressed concerns regarding anti-social behaviour, noise disturbance and parking.


The Chief Planning Officer reiterated that Members had received clear advice from the Legal Officer and during their planning training, that Members were there to determine these applications with regard to planning considerations only.  Although Members had concerns regarding the care provider and whether the children would be from Medway and staffing, these were not planning considerations, they were for the provider, Ofsted, to review.  Planning considerations would include CCTV, amenities and parking. 


The Planner explained that with regards to the CCTV, a discussion had taken place with the applicant and agent, and they confirmed a ring-door bell had been installed, which would only look at the front and rear of the property to monitor the comings and goings of the property.  Although Kent Police recommended the installation of CCTV these were just recommendations, however, they did recommend that staff wear body cameras. This would be discussed with Kent Police as to whether that was necessary along with other security issues.  An informative would be added to the Decision Notice for the applicant to contact Kent Police.


The Planner clarified that under condition 3, the number of residents would not exceed three and the Chief Planning Officer explained that if Ofsted required an increase in residents, the applicant would be required to come back to the Planning Committee.


The Chief Planning Officer acknowledged that Members had concerns outside the planning process, and he would pass Members’ comments to the relevant department in the Council to forward to Ofsted. 




Approved with conditions 1 to 3 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.


The Vice Chairperson stated that where the Committee approved planning permission for children’s care homes, this approval related only to planning terms and that the permission for the Children’s Care Home to operate was granted by Ofsted.


Councillor Stamp returned to the meeting as a Committee Member.

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