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Road safety fears over planned children's home in St Richard’s Road, Deal

Plans for a new children's home have sparked fears over safety.

People consulted over the proposed centre in Deal say traffic is already fast-moving in St Richard’s Road.

Residents say cars in the area go too fast, iStock image "
Residents say cars in the area go too fast, iStock image "

The application, submitted to Dover District Council, is to convert a house for a centre for youngsters aged eight to 16, and is from Back on Track Children’s Services Ltd of Walmer.

A supporting letter from Kent County Council said the home would be for children with issues such as emotional and behavioural difficulties, learning disabilities and/or autism.

Senior commissioner Robin Cahill, from KCC, told DDC: “The council relies on providers such as Back on Track to care for some of Kent’s most vulnerable children.

"Children placed with them have thrived and gone on to achieve independence.”

But there are concerns over the location.

Locals say St Richard's Road is too busy. Picture: Google Street View
Locals say St Richard's Road is too busy. Picture: Google Street View

One resident who commented on the council’s planning portal said: “The location could have negative impacts not only on the children residing but also children living in close proximity.

“This is a busy road and there is a danger of a serious collision with vehicles witnessed travelling at excessive speeds past the house on a regular basis."

Another resident said on that forum: “St Richard’s Road is already very busy and is a main bus route and pedestrian route to two primary schools.

“If permission is granted there will be a serious accident with possible loss of life.”

All 16 members of the public commenting on the portal were against the scheme, also fearing problems such as parking and loss of privacy.

Sophie Seymour, director of Back on Track, said: “We are supporting a KCC strategy to keep Kent children in Kent and stop the practice of sending children out of county at an exorbitant cost to all tax payers ,we would ask that people in Deal support us .

"Many of our children have moderate autism and whose families are unable to support their needs in the home. All of our children attend school here in Deal.

" They could be your son or daughter.

Our role is to help the children integrate into and function as part of the community with an ultimate goal of all children transitioning to foster care or preferable to live once again with their families.

"We always take the road risk into consideration but with support from the staff, our children can navigate this safely.

"The children's commissioner for the UK recently released a new directive for children's social care clearly stating that children deserved the right to be provided with accommodation close to home.

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