Page last updated at 18:13 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Parents protest at Ramsgate children's home plan

Parents have held a demonstration against plans to turn offices in Kent into a residential children's home for up to six boys aged between 11 and 18.

They fear Satis House in Elms Avenue, Ramsgate, will be used to house young sex offenders and violent criminals.

In a draft statement to Thanet District Council, Acorn Homes said on occasion the boys could have been responsible for serious offences.

It later said it was an "oversight" and the home would not house sex offenders.

Up to 40 residents waved placards outside a local school on Monday in protest at the proposals.

We are not looking at housing sex offenders or murderers
Andrew Warrilow

A Facebook group has also been set up with the aim of encouraging Thanet council to reject the outline plans.

Ann King, 56, of Elms Avenue Residents' Association, said: "People around here are afraid. It's a nice area with nice families and people are concerned what will happen if this goes ahead.

"We've got nothing against helping kids get back on the straight and narrow, but just not here.

"There is nowhere for them to run around, there is no outside space. They would be like caged animals.

"We have high enough crime levels round here as it is. To get this rejected is important to the whole community and we want to squash it completely."

Andrew Warrilow, director of Acorn Homes, said: "Our primary aim is to make sure that these children, who have been taken away from parental or guardian care, have a chance in life in a caring home environment.

"We are not looking at housing sex offenders or murderers. All we are looking to achieve is to give children a loving home environment to hopefully put them on the straight and narrow."

A spokesman for Thanet District Council said: "The application is currently being considered by the council and no decision has yet been made on it."

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