PEOPLE living near a proposed home for teenagers with mental, emotional and behaviour needs have labelled it like a ‘prison’.

Residents have voiced their objections to plans to build the mental health facility for young people in Webheath.

The proposal would see the former Saltways care home in Church Road transformed into a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) unit, with three single-storey extensions and a security fence.

The facility would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and would include bedrooms and classrooms. It would treat teenagers aged 13-18.

Regis Healthcare would carry out the service treating young people with mental health, emotional and behavioural needs. Treatment can cover depression, self-harm, abuse, problems with food, violence or anger, and bi-polar.

However, more than 90 people have objected to the proposal on Redditch Borough Council’s planning website, citing concerns over its proximity to homes and the three-metre fence.

Peter Hill said: “As a householder and close neighbour to the proposed CAMHS unit I support severely disturbed young people having excellent psychiatric and social care.

“However, it is clear that the proposed CAMHS unit has the potential to become a public nuisance if located a few metres from my house of 30 years; and totally out of place in the established family home setting of Webheath (or any other residential area).

“The proposed high security fence will shout fear of crime, from its prison-like structure just over my rear garden fence; and be totally out of place beside a village church and its mother and toddler groups.”

James Findlay said: “A facility like this should be located on a hospital site not in the middle of a residential estate with many families with young children.”

Helen Morrison said: “Although a facility like this is clearly needed in Worcestershire, this is not an appropriate or considered location for it.”

A spokesperson from agents AP Architects said: “The proposal of security fencing is for the safeguarding of patients, in order to ensure they feel safe and secure. The West Mercia Police Designing out Crime Officer has not expressed any concerns regarding crime and as we understand has no principle objection to the proposals.”

Regis Healthcare said: “Whilst we hear some anxieties that the neighbours may have, we aim to continuously engage with the local community and other stakeholders to allay any concerns, and to evidence not only the great work that is achieved in a CAMHS unit, but also evidence that local communities are never impacted by these units.”

The proposals will be discussed by Redditch Borough Council’s planning committee at a meeting on April 14.