Police vow to shut down Lancashire kids’ home

POLICE chiefs have vowed to shut down a care home for young tearaways, despite a planning loophole which allows the home to stay open.

Brighton House failed to inform police, social services or council bosses that it was moving problem children into a property in Millar Barn Lane, Waterfoot, last year.

Members of Rossendale’s development control committee, unanimously voted against the home catering for eight children last month.

But the home has continued to operate with less children as current Government regulations state that if a care home looks after six or less children, then planning permission is not needed.

Chf Ins Geoff Brown, of Rossendale police, said: “We have had a meeting with our legal team and we will now pursue the closure of Brighton House.

“We are not happy with how the house is being run, and the young people who have been brought in from outside the area.

“Though the legal proceedings may take some time, I will be doing everything I can to make the place safe for local residents.”

Some locals fear that if the closure process is drawn out too long, the care home will stay open indefinitely.

Marie Buckley, owner of the old curiosity shop, near Brighton House, said: ”The police could put a stop to this very quickly if they wanted to, because they have done similar things in the past.

“So far it seems that no-one can touch Brighton House.”

Police in a public meeting reported that since the home moved into Waterfoot the village has been hit by an unprecedented crime wave, with residents assaulted, shopkeepers intimidated and property damaged.

More than 120 crimes were filed in seven months.

It is understood the police will use anti-social behaviour legislation to tackle the problem.

Coun Gladys Sandiford said: “Someone needs to get their act together and close the home down.”

Brighton House were unavailable for comment.