A new children’s care home could come to Earley if councillors grant it planning permission at a meeting on Wednesday, August 9.

Wokingham Borough Council has earmarked the three-bed house on Stanton Close – which it owns – as a suitable location for a council-run care home.

Council leaders have previously spoken of their wish to run more children’s care homes themselves and to rely less on private providers and charities.

But the council first needs permission from its own planning committee to use the house as a children’s home.

A council officer’s report to the committee says the new home would help children in care stay in the borough rather than being in places far away.

It says: “The scheme performs a substantial social role in the provision of living accommodation to vulnerable children.

“There is a real need for local children to be placed in homes within the Borough, rather than being placed in residential homes far from their homes.”

One neighbour has objected to the plans – fearing that staff at the home would bring more traffic, and arguing that a quiet residential street isn’t suitable for a children’s home.

But a council statement supporting the application says the size of the small home means that the change is unlikely to bring disruption to neighbours. And it says residential areas are often suitable for children’s homes.

The statement says: “There are many care-related uses that run smoothly with no complaint in residential areas, and generally, residential areas are the most suitable place for such uses.

“Where appropriate, the Council seeks to support children and young people in care to live close to the things they hold dear – close to family, friends, community, and those who care for them most.”

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Councillor Prue Bray – responsible for children’s services –said she wants Wokingham Borough Council to own and run more care homes itself. She says using profit-making private providers can be more expensive – and often means sending children in care far away.

In a recent interview with the Local Democracy Reporting Service, she said: “At the moment we’ve got children as far away as Scotland, the far west of Wales, and it takes their families hours and hours to visit them.

“But there are quite a few we could accommodate. It would be better for them, and quite a bit cheaper. Our children are safe, but we think we can do it better and save a lot of money.”