A contentious plan for a new children’s home in Nuthall has been withdrawn following strong criticism from neighbours.
G4S, the world’s biggest security company, faced ardent opposition to its planning application to Broxtowe Borough Council to change a house on Roland Avenue into a home for Looked After Children aged 10-17.
The plan was part of a contract with Nottinghamshire County Council to house some of Nottinghamshire’s teenagers caught in the care system because they are not safe with their own families.
Local politicians took credit for disrupting the plan at a time when the number of Nottinghamshire has an increased burden frLooked After Children is rising, and almost half are accomodated outside the county.
Nuthall borough councillor Paul Simpson, Conservative, told the Advertiser: “The Broxtowe Borough Planning Officer has just informed me that the G4S planning application for 1A Roland Avenue has been withdrawn.
“G4S have not given a reason (they don’t have to), but I suspect that the level of criticism from councillors and residents has caused them to reconsider.
County councillor Philip Owen, Conservative, said: “As a result of pressure from myself and Paul Simpson the application has been withdrawn.
He added: “G4S have been told by the county council to go and find more suitable premises.”
G4S said the application was withdrawn voluntarily, but is not abandoning its plan to purchase the property and change the use altogether.
Managing Director of G4S Children’s Services, Paul Cook, said: “We’ve withdrawn the application in Nuthall to give us more time to talk with local people about the important children’s home we and the County Council would like to provide.”
Nuthall neighbours hope G4S has seen how inadequate 1A Roland Avenue would be for vulnerable children.
Kirk, who lives in the area, said: “I think this is the best decision all round. Maybe G4S have finally viewed the property and realised it’s unsuitability in terms of location, facilities, risk factors.”
At a local meeting residents were mainly concerned by “troubled youngsters” in an area with few local amenities and a large elderly population.