‘It will cause uncertainty and anxiety’ - Neighbours’ fears over plans to turn house into short-term mental health support base

The property on Bawburgh Lane which could be turned into short-term supported residential accommodat

The property on Bawburgh Lane which could be turned into short-term supported residential accommodation for people with mental health issues. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Google Street View

Neighbours in a quiet street have raised fears over an application to turn a house into a short-term base for people struggling with their mental health.

The change of use application for the four-bedroom house on Bawburgh Lane, off Dereham Road in Costessey, has been submitted to South Norfolk Council by Norfolk and Waveney Mind.

If approved the short-term supported residential accommodation would be a "home from home" relaxing space for up to four adults at a time struggling with their mental health, according to Cheryl O'Sullivan from Norfolk and Waveney Mind.

The charity says it will be a "calm and quiet environment", and said: "Anybody on any street will have mental health issues."

Some 13 support staff would be employed by the centre, where adult residents can come and go, and two trained staff would be with the residents 24/7.

But it has caused concern. One Bawburgh Lane neighbour wrote on the South Norfolk Council website: "Bawburgh Lane is small and quiet lane containing families and young children, this application would cause disruption from the proposed residents and the continuous use of property with staff coming and going from the house 24/7."

They added: "It's simply not within character and will cause uncertainty and anxiety to residents."

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Another resident from nearby Worcester Road wrote: "A house like this would be better situated in a more isolated area."

Costessey Town Council recommended the application for approval as long as on-street parking was not exacerbated.

Ms O'Sullivan, head of service at Mind's operations for crisis intervention, said only people from Norfolk and Waveney referred by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust by their GP would be able to stay at the house for five days.

She said: "It is going to be for ordinary people who are going through a difficult time. Anybody on any street will have mental health issues. We wanted to find a quiet residential area to achieve a calm and quiet environment. I have been talking to people to reassure them. We are really open if people want to talk to us about the service."

If approved Mind would lease the home for two years, with the project set to be funded by the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group.