A house believed to have been empty for several years could be transformed into a children’s care home.

If approved the plan will see the house on Whalley Avenue, Johnson Fold turned into a children’s home with two bedrooms and three members of staff.

But concerns have already been raised about the suitability of the area.

Cllr Roger Hayes, of Smithills, said: "It's a relatively small house and there's some nice countryside nearby but it still causes me grave concern.

"We've been trying to get a lot more input into planning from both adults and children's services so we're hoping to have a Policy Development Group looking at how we can do that."

The Bolton News: The plans have been put before Bolton CouncilThe plans have been put before Bolton Council (Image: Eznat)

According to the bid made by Master Quality Health Care Services Ltd to Bolton Council for the Whalley Avenue home, the house is currently vacant and has been so since 2019.

A statement from the company said: "Our organisation exists to help less fortunate children in our community and not all children are afforded the opportunity to become good adult citizen. 

"Some children are abandoned or orphaned at an early age and have no one to look after them and we are there to cover that gap. 

"Though we can’t completely take the parents’ role, we become the guardian to those children looking after children on 24/7 basis, we aim to minimise disruption in the children lives by providing well trained staff to look after them 24/7. 

"Part of our duty of care is to our neighbours too whom we aim to consult with on a regular basis to keep the peace and we shall also be offering education to our neighbours about the children in care and also giving them our manager's direct number in case they have a complaint regarding any disruption.

"But I am assuring you with the level of training given and experienced staff we now have such disruptions will be very limited or shall not happen again. 

"Our services play small part in ensuring children are not homeless and in the streets."

But Bolton Council’s children’s services department has already stated it will not support the application, by Master Quality Heath Care Services.

A statement said: “The provider has not contacted children’s services to ascertain their views on the suitability of the area, or the property, whether there are any risks or potential safeguarding concerns present, or whether there are any socio-economical concerns in the area.

“The selected property is also an area of concern for children’s services.

“The geographic location also does not appear to have been considered through a child-focused lens.”

It added: “There are known significant high-risk activities in the immediate area.

“Children’s services would be highly concerned that, due to the lack of consultation with the local authority, the provider will not have considered the potential risks to children and young people.”

If approved, the new children’s home will be staffed by two full-time employees and one part timer.

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Despite the children’s services department saying they would object to the proposal, the council’s highways and engineering department say they have no such issues.

A statement said: “This location could be considered reasonably accessible to sustainable modes of transportation which would provide an additional justification to support what is being proposed from a transport/highway's perspective.

“On this basis, no reasonable objections on highway grounds to what is being proposed under this application.”

Bolton Council will aim to decide whether or not to approve the bid by Wednesday, July 24 this year.