THE reaction to controversial plans to turn a house in Yate into a children's home, which have now been withdrawn, has been described as 'disheartening' by the applicant.

Care home company Park Blue Homes applied for permission to convert a four-bedroom house in Goose Green into a children's home.

The application was submitted to South Gloucestershire Council in November, but several residents lodged objection to the plans, especially citing concerns over its potential impact on traffic.

The application was withdrawn on Monday, January 22 after concerns over the plans.

All 20 comments posted on the planning portal were objections - including an objection from Yate Town Council.

However, Jack Byron, business development manager for Park Blue said it was 'disheartening to read some of the comments' and that the 'unfortunate stigma which is attached to children's homes needs to change.'

He said: "Unfortunately, we took the decision to withdraw our planning application due to the high-level of negative comments we received.

"It was very disheartening to read some of these comments which specifically relate to the neighbourhood's safety, depreciation of house prices, anti-social behaviour, increased crime rate, and simply just not being wanted.

"There is an unfortunate stigma attached to children's homes which needs to change.

"These homes are for children who have had disadvantaged starts in life in one way or another.

"Our aim is to provide them with a therapeutic home where we can hope to address previous trauma and support these children to further develop their social and emotional skills.

"Unfortunately, whilst this stigma is still attached to children's homes, it will become increasingly difficult to open children's homes and provide these children with a safe home to live in.

"The children we care for are not criminals, vandals, drug users or risks to society as stated in multiple comments of the application.

"These are vulnerable young people who have been subjected to a high level of neglect and abuse which has led to complex trauma; through absolutely no fault of their own.

"Our homes run like any other 'typical' family home, and there would be no impact on the local community."

A statement on the original application read: "We are looking to change the use of the property from C3 to C2 so it can be turned into a residential children's home.

"The home will provide care and support to children in care.

"No exterior or interior work will be carried out on this property so it will not look any different to how it currently does.

"The home will continue to operate as a normal family home."

Park Blue operates children's residential homes throughout the UK, specialising in full time residential placements for children and young people.

It already runs homes in Castle Combe and Swindon.