MORE than 250 Dunnikier residents attended a meeting held last week about plans to create residential accommodation for young people in a property on the estate.
The meeting in Capshard Primary School on Thursday evening was arranged after local councillors were contacted by a number of people concerned about issues which they feared may arise if such a project was within their community.
Phil Barton, director of Starley Hall, the residential care and education provider behind the plan, attended along with local councillors to meet residents and provide information about the initiative.
Speaking to the Press, Mr Barton explained the property will become home to three young people and an adult who would be there for support.
He said: “We have some young people who have reached an age where they are going to college or getting work, and they need somewhere else to go.
“Staying here [Starley Hall] is no longer suitable for them. We think this property is suitable to meet their needs.
“It’s a chance for young people who are doing well to move on and gain some independence while still having the support they need available to them. It’s a stepping stone if you like.”
He added following the meeting he and his staff will consider how best to provide more information for neighbours, as well as speaking with individuals.
Councillor David Ross, who helped arrange the meeting, said: “I think Starley Hall got a feeling of the strong concerns from a lot of people in the area.
“There were a lot of people there and I’m not sure if it was the correct forum for all the concerns to be addressed, but I’m glad that someone has taken it on to gather the specific concerns of those living close to the property and speak to Starley Hall.
“I think that is a very positive way forward.
“For me there are still unanswered questions.
“There are still issues about how this proposal was taken forward and the fact neighbours weren’t spoken to beforehand, which has undermined the level of trust.
“I think Mr Barton recognises it will take a considerable effort, if it’s possible at all, to rebuild that level of trust and reassure people.”