Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry care home plans cause anger amongst residents

Plans to turn a former doctors surgery in Coventry into a care home for young people with mental health issues have angered some nearby residents.

Leamington-based criminologist Ann Blakeman hopes to offer 24-hour care for up to five people at the property in Headington Avenue.

She has said she will create a not-for-profit organisation to run the centre.

But residents in the Keresley area have already handed in a petition against the proposals.

One of them, Joe Smith, said he had a number of issues with the development.

He said: "It's not just the kind of people it's the actual site. It's inadequate for this kind of operation.

"Around that area there are a lot of elderly residents and five or six schools in the close vicinity."

Mr Smith added that he had backing from some councillors and said about 350 people had turned up to a meeting to express concern about the centre.

'Massive difference'

Ms Blakeman, who bought the surgery from the the city's primary care trust last year, said there was a misunderstanding over what she was trying to achieve.

"It's a rehabilitation centre. We don't want people to become institutionalised," she said.

"It's how we can integrate them back into society and to be useful and valued.

"By putting in the strong parenting skills in terms of teaching individuals how to care for themselves and how to live an independent and full life will make a massive difference.

"It will make a massive difference to the wider community as well."

Ms Blakeman added that she had consulted a number of charities over her plans which will be discussed by the council's planning committee on 23 February.

Mr Smith said: "If the decision goes against us then that's when we will actually get an action committee together. We certainly won't let it lie.

"Our area is not capable of housing that kind of foundation unfortunately."