TWO young people’s residential care homes have been given the go-ahead in Carmarthenshire, despite concerns from some people living nearby.

The council’s planning committee approved change of use applications for a detached five-bedroom property in Drefach, and a detached three-bed property in Pwll, near Llanelli.

The owners of the Pwll property, Oakmont Services Group Ltd, submitted a retrospective application after planning enforcement officers visited the home.

A letter on behalf of the company said it had initially been advised that change of use consent was not required.

There were 27 objections to the proposal, including from Llanelli MP Nia Griffith. Objectors raised parking concerns and also said Dyfed-Powys Police had attended “several” incidents at the property.

The planning report before the committee said police had taken action after being called out to the Pwll Road property, but that the council had not received any noise or anti-social behaviour complaints.

The residential facility caters for no more than three young people at a time, who are supervised on a 24-hour basis.

The report said although anti-social behaviour was undesirable, “similar impacts could arise from any residential occupation of the property and are not uncommon in residential areas”.

Planning officers recommended the application for approval, adding that it would not be appropriate to assume that all children who resided there would cause problems.

The application for Drefach was for a residential property which had in the past been a cafe and a post office.

Concerns were raised by ward councillors Darren Price and Aled Vaughan-Owen that renovation work for the children’s care home had started prior to any change of use consent.

The Heol Caegwyn property will cater for seven to 18-year-olds in the care of Carmarthenshire Council, with up to five members of staff on site at any one time.

Two objectors wrote to the council expressing fears about potential anti-social behaviour and suggesting that more isolated sites would be more appropriate.

Council officers recommended the application for approval, and it was approved unanimously by the planning committee.

Cllr Jeanette Gilsabey wanted to know if there were any parking spaces allocated for visitors and delivery drivers, and was advised that there was sufficient space for them.

Committee chairman, Cllr Alun Lenny, said: “I’m sure there is a call for this type of home in the county.”