Controversial plans for children's residential school recommended for approval despite dozens of objections from residents

Darlington and Stockton Times: Darlington town hall, where Darlington Borough Council's planning committee will discuss proposals for a children's residential centre near Heighington Darlington town hall, where Darlington Borough Council's planning committee will discuss proposals for a children's residential centre near Heighington

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a centre for vulnerable children will be discussed at a council meeting this week.

Proposals to transform a farm into a residential therapeutic, education and care facility will be put before a meeting of Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, February 12.

If permission is granted, Jubilee Wood farm near Heighington will be transformed into a centre catering for youngsters with special needs aged between four and 19.

More than 100 letters of objection have been received in relation to the development, put forward by The Witherslack Group in a bid to accommodate children with special needs including behavioural and emotional difficulties, autism and complex learning difficulties.

Concerns raised by local residents include issues around vehicle access, increased traffic, the safety of horse riders using surrounding roads, impact on the local landscape, fears around security, absconding residents and a potential rise in crime.

One objector said: “Is this a hospital facility for severely disabled youngsters or is it an approved school or Borstal? Will occupants be escaping to be a nuisance to the surrounding farms and villages or will they be effectively hospitalised and safely looked after?”

Others expressed concern that the development meant difficult children would, in effect, be hidden away as “in Victorian times”.

Heighington Parish Council also submitted a detailed objection to the plans echoing many of the concerns raised by residents.

Some letters of support were received, with one stating “I believe it will be good for the area and building it in this area will be fantastic for the development of the people at the facility, giving them a better start in life.

“I disagree with the scaremongering tactics which are being used by the people against this project…”

Planning permission is recommended for approval subject to conditions including a limit on residents, the implementation of a noise impact assessment and the carrying out of a road safety audit.

Comments (9)

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5:13pm Sat 8 Feb 14

banmeandilljustregisterwithanewname says...

It should come as no surprise at all that the views of local people are being ignored. Why would anyone expect anything different from the drunk on power parasites in this council.
It should come as no surprise at all that the views of local people are being ignored. Why would anyone expect anything different from the drunk on power parasites in this council. banmeandilljustregisterwithanewname
  • Score: -3

7:02pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Disgraceful for such a facility to be placed in the middle of nowhere and near to Heighington. The majority of residents of the village already pay a goodly excess in council tax and rates - and for the privilege of supporting the less fortunate they now get rewarded with this...
Disgraceful for such a facility to be placed in the middle of nowhere and near to Heighington. The majority of residents of the village already pay a goodly excess in council tax and rates - and for the privilege of supporting the less fortunate they now get rewarded with this... Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -5

7:49pm Sat 8 Feb 14

sineater says...

Elsewhere in the echo there is a complaint that children with special n eeds are not b eing attended to,now here nimbyies are complaining about people doing something to help these children,selfish people who only care about themselves,thats what you all are !!!
Elsewhere in the echo there is a complaint that children with special n eeds are not b eing attended to,now here nimbyies are complaining about people doing something to help these children,selfish people who only care about themselves,thats what you all are !!! sineater
  • Score: 11

4:57am Sun 9 Feb 14

shimster32 says...

Oppps my son has ADHD. He is currently studying businesses finance at university. Watch you bums as a mental health person could be living next to you soon. NIBY get over yourselves. Everyone deserves a chance.
Oppps my son has ADHD. He is currently studying businesses finance at university. Watch you bums as a mental health person could be living next to you soon. NIBY get over yourselves. Everyone deserves a chance. shimster32
  • Score: 8

10:58am Sun 9 Feb 14

Voice-of-reality says...

'Businesses finance' does not exist as a course.
People do, however, deserve a chance, and those who pay a majority of tax also deserve the right not to have the areas in which they live blighted. Put the children's home in a council estate
'Businesses finance' does not exist as a course. People do, however, deserve a chance, and those who pay a majority of tax also deserve the right not to have the areas in which they live blighted. Put the children's home in a council estate Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -8

11:22pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Grandma H says...

What a snob you are Voice -of- idiot. Lets hope that you or any of your family are never in the position where you need help to care for a disabled child.
What a snob you are Voice -of- idiot. Lets hope that you or any of your family are never in the position where you need help to care for a disabled child. Grandma H
  • Score: 4

1:01am Mon 10 Feb 14

Voice-of-reality says...

As a middle class taxpayer I rest assured that I would never get any state assistance for a disabled relative. Thus I make provision for them in addition to paying for the children of the idiot-breeding class of council estate lives. Why should the good people of Heighington have to pay for others to live, and also have their environment ruined. Let the unwanted children live in the environs of the unwashed.
As a middle class taxpayer I rest assured that I would never get any state assistance for a disabled relative. Thus I make provision for them in addition to paying for the children of the idiot-breeding class of council estate lives. Why should the good people of Heighington have to pay for others to live, and also have their environment ruined. Let the unwanted children live in the environs of the unwashed. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -3

10:04am Mon 10 Feb 14

banmeandilljustregisterwithanewname says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
'Businesses finance' does not exist as a course.
People do, however, deserve a chance, and those who pay a majority of tax also deserve the right not to have the areas in which they live blighted. Put the children's home in a council estate
I agree. Put them where they belong - with all the other lowlife.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: 'Businesses finance' does not exist as a course. People do, however, deserve a chance, and those who pay a majority of tax also deserve the right not to have the areas in which they live blighted. Put the children's home in a council estate[/p][/quote]I agree. Put them where they belong - with all the other lowlife. banmeandilljustregisterwithanewname
  • Score: -4

1:11pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Lionel1 says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
As a middle class taxpayer I rest assured that I would never get any state assistance for a disabled relative. Thus I make provision for them in addition to paying for the children of the idiot-breeding class of council estate lives. Why should the good people of Heighington have to pay for others to live, and also have their environment ruined. Let the unwanted children live in the environs of the unwashed.
did anyone else realise that Heighington and it's self-sufficient inhabitants were so incredible? I must drive through the less salubrious part of the village as it doesn't look much different to anywhere else with a village green to me. Hurworth has a similar residential school to the one being proposed near Heighington and I know where I'd rather live!!! Keep paying those taxes...
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: As a middle class taxpayer I rest assured that I would never get any state assistance for a disabled relative. Thus I make provision for them in addition to paying for the children of the idiot-breeding class of council estate lives. Why should the good people of Heighington have to pay for others to live, and also have their environment ruined. Let the unwanted children live in the environs of the unwashed.[/p][/quote]did anyone else realise that Heighington and it's self-sufficient inhabitants were so incredible? I must drive through the less salubrious part of the village as it doesn't look much different to anywhere else with a village green to me. Hurworth has a similar residential school to the one being proposed near Heighington and I know where I'd rather live!!! Keep paying those taxes... Lionel1
  • Score: 2

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