Daybrook residents living near care home say expansion will make ‘horrific’ noise problems worse

Byron Court, off Oxclose Lane in Daybrook
Byron Court, off Oxclose Lane in Daybrook
By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter

People living close to an assisted living care home say they are being “terrorised” by noise and inappropriate behaviour and fear plans to expand it will make problems worse.

Byron Court, off Oxclose Lane in Daybrook, cares for people living with mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

It was operated by the Royal Mencap Society until around two years ago before being taken over by Dignus, a disability service and support organisation based in Walsall.

The complex currently caters for two residents and support staff. It is currently rated as ‘good’ by watchdog the Care Quality Commission.

Two 1930s houses were originally converted into a care home in 1986, and Gedling Borough Council has now given Dignus permission to demolish them to make way for a new facility.

Initial proposals for the construction of a three-storey building with eight rooms were reduced down to two-storeys with six rooms.

But residents living nearby say they are being “terrorised” by loud music, screaming and nudity and fear the larger building would make matters worse.

Gedling Borough Council says it is talking to Dignus about the noise concerns.

Signs have been put up around the neighbourhood opposing the approved plans (LDRS)
Signs have been put up around the neighbourhood opposing the approved plans (LDRS)

John Horry, who has lived next door in Byron Street for the past seven years, said he feels Dignus is failing to cooperate or communicate and told the council he felt the neighbourhood “is being terrorised”.

“When the plans first came out it was huge,” he said.

“We opposed it along with a number of other people around here, and ever since the application has been from pillar to post.

“Planning officers said we would get a meeting where we can give evidence about why we are opposing it, but we never got this.

“We very much understand mental health is a massive issue now and anything that is going to benefit people should be done. But it has been horrific.

“There has been shouting. One resident put their head through a window.

“The only time we’ve spoken [with Dignus] is when we’ve been round to complain.

“If this is what it is like with two residents, what is it going to be like with six?”

Lynne Woodhouse, a resident of over 31 years who lives in Swinburne Way, added she felt her life had been disrupted for two years.

She said: “We have been fighting against planning permission for two years now and are very worried that Gedling Borough Council have given them the go-ahead regardless of our complaints and the fact the [Environmental Health Officer] has also agreed with us.

“We have put up with abuse, nudity, screaming, have been subjected to seeing and hearing a girl smashing up the place and windows with zero cooperation from the staff when we have contacted them.

“Each weekend, currently, we have music blaring out all day. I have just lost my father, and I can’t even grieve in my own home.”

Mr Horry asked the council why the expansion did not go to the council’s Planning Committee before being approved despite numerous objections, including from Environmental Health.

In an email, seen by the LDRS, the head of development and place, Mike Avery, said it was considered by a Planning Delegation Panel, which was content the application could be dealt with without the need for referral.

The email says the management of residents is a matter for the operator and cannot be considered in a planning decision.

Gedling Borough Council spokesperson said: “Gedling Borough Council has received a planning application for a replacement care facility on Oxclose Lane.

“The council has carefully considered the application and based on legal requirements and existing permissions, planning permission was therefore granted.

“We acknowledge community concerns about noise issues at the property and the council’s Public Protection team have been in dialogue with the care home owners about the impact it is having on local residents and will continue to work with them proactively to reduce this impact.”

Dignus Group did not respond to a request for comment.
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