Families Furious Over Home Plan

Furious residents in Coventry are organising a petition in protest at plans to create a new home in their street for people with mental health problems. The former old folk’s home in Allesley, Coventry, is next to the village primary school and neighbours say they are worried about the effect the plans could have on school children. Patricia Fox, aged 38, said the main concern was that people did not know exactly who would be moving into the home and whether it could cause problems.

Mrs Fox, who has an eight-year-old daughter, Blyth, said: “It used to be a private nursing home for older people but it closed down about eight months ago and was put up for sale. We got back from holiday about a week and a half ago and spotted an A4-sized notice outside to say there was a change of use to a residential home but it didn’t say what sort of people would be in it.

“I’ve been told it could be people with manic depression or schizophrenia. They’ll have one on one care but there are no live-in staff. My main concern is that it’s next to the primary school and a lot of children play in that street.”

Mrs Fox has begun taking a petition around the neighbours and will be standing at the school gates with it when the children go back for the new term this week. Three letters of objection have already been received by Coventry City Council’s planners.

In an e-mailed response, a representative of Inshore Support Homes – the company planning to open the home – said: “The type of learning difficulty people may have varies tremendously. Due to the high level of staffing and the fact that any resident is escorted by staff when outside, this should not lead to anti-social behaviour. The idea is that residents are taught in a family environment in order to integrate back into society.”

The plans for the home state that at least three staff members would be on duty during the day and two at night.

Up to 11 new jobs could be created although it is likely some of these will be brought in from other Inshore Support homes in the area.