THE trust that runs Musgrove Park Hospital has bought a house in a nearby residential street to house young people with 'eating difficulties' and their families.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which has applied for change of use planning permission for the house in Hoveland Lane, has moved to calm concerns raised by neighbours.

Several people have contacted planners at Somerset West and Taunton Council opposing the trust's application, saying it is an inappropriate use of a home in a residential area.

Their comments include fears the facility could lead to extra traffic, risks to vulnerable road users, parking problems, reduce house prices in the area and anti-social behaviour.

One neighbour said: "It is losing an excellent family home to an institutional facility...(and) deprives a family of living in such a good area for schools and amenities.

"Why isn't Somerset NHS Trust building a bespoke facility to accommodate the overspill for the acute nursing ward?"

Claudine Brown, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s head of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), said she did not believe the unit would cause disruption to local people.

She said: "We know that young people's recovery is significantly improved when they are supported in a less clinical and more relaxed therapeutic setting.

"Because of this we are developing a model of intensive community-based treatment in Somerset for young people with eating related difficulties.

“We have purchased a house on Hoveland Lane, in Taunton, that will be used by a small team of health and social care colleagues to care for young people with an eating related difficulty, one family at a time.

"This is particularly timely as there has been a significant increase in eating difficulties across the country since the start of the pandemic.

"In recent years there has been greater public interest and understanding for people with eating difficulties, but many young people and their families still feel a stigma attached to seeking support.

"We hope that the local community and people in our county will support this important development.

"We are confident that there will be no disruption to residents as the service will be very private.

"There should be no increase in traffic or parking beyond that of a typical residential property as our colleagues will park on the nearby hospital site.”