Middleton Cheney residents have voiced concerns after plans by security firm G4S to open a children’s home in the village were given the green light.
Residents claim the proposal to convert a dwelling at 2 Salmons Lane into a home for five children and support staff was lodged under a private name to avoid opposition.
The application was submitted under the name Simon Herbert of Station Road, Lidlington, Bedfordshire, with no mention of G4S, and was approved by South Northamptonshire Council on Tuesday.
The home will cater for five children aged 10-18 whose parents are unwell, who have experienced family problems, are in the care of the local authority, subject to a court order or foster home breakdown.
Some residents are angry it was not made clear the application was being made by G4S, but the firm’s spokesperson Nicki Savage said it was standard procedure to make applications under a private name to avoid competition from rival companies.
“It’s mainly down to commercial reasons, we don’t particularly want our competitors to be aware of what our intentions are,” she said.
Residents have also expressed concerns about the youngsters living in the village, in what some believe will effectively be a young offenders’ institution.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The village is at war over this.
“A lot of people are very angry that we didn’t know anything about it.
“They say it’s a children’s home, but what kind of children are really going to be there?” But Ms Savage offered reassurance saying: “Children’s homes are not custodial estates where children are kept under lock and key. The children would be living in what is a normal domestic housing arrangement.”
Northamptonshire Police had objected to the plans saying officers had been called to a similar facility in Towcester 77 times within a nine-month period and the home would therefore have an impact on local policing.
They also said there was no business need for the facility, it was unlikely to house local children and would have an impact on the residential amenity of neighbours.
The plans would not see any external alterations made to the property.