A FORMER vicarage is to be converted into supported living accommodation for young people despite dozens of objections from neighbours.

St Peter’s Vicarage on Bradford Street, Farnworth, is currently the head office of care company CFS Care Ltd, who now wish to convert the building into flats for six ‘vulnerable’ youngsters and one member of staff.

In a planning application decided this week CFS Care, said: “We have owned this property for just over two years. It has until recently been our head office, however the outbreak of the pandemic and the working from home arrangements which followed has meant that the building is currently vacant and not needed for office space.

“This opens the possibility for CFS Care Ltd to use the building to provide supported living accommodation.”

There were 46 objections to the application. The reasons were summarised as ‘residents may disturb elderly residents in the area’, ‘the area is already prone to anti-social behaviour, this will make it worse’ and that it was ‘too close to St Peter’s School’.

Ward councillor, Julie Pattison, who is not a member of the committee, said: “I have great concerns with this application. It worries me that planning consideration is cold and fixed without taking into considerations the wider implications for the community."

Councillor Mark Cunningham, said: “It’s an understatement to say that this application has generated a strong emotional response from some of the residents.

“Having considered the written objections I have a different view. I’m yet to be persuaded that the concerns expressed against this application would actually come to pass.

“Fears that this would bring crime to the neighbourhood, while perfectly understandable appear to contradict the letters of objection which state that this actually exist and paints a picture of almost living in the wild west in some circumstances.”

Peter Flitcroft, an objector, said: “Residents object to this application in the strongest possible terms. The immediate area is residential and includes St Peter’s school and 81 purpose built properties for over 55 year olds. Nearly 90 per cent of properties close by house people over 55 and all are fearful of this application.”

Leanne Daniel from CFS Care, said: “This facility will help young people transition to live independently. We hope to to support the local authority with their lack of capacity.”

The application was passed unanimously by Bolton Council’s planning committee.