There is something wrong with society when the delicate ears of neighbours override the needs of children with learning difficulties who need round-the-clock care.

Test Valley Borough Council has caused an uproar after its officers decided to reject plans put forward by experienced carer Maddison Taylor and her father, James, to convert a home on Mead Hedges into assisted living accommodation for youngsters with additional needs.

Andover Town Council approved the plans but Test Valley Borough Council’s planning department rejected them, citing concerns about the levels of noise the children might cause.

The officer wrote approving the plans would “result in an unacceptable risk of harmful noise to neighbouring properties”.

Experienced carer Maddison said at the time that she “felt an urge to do more to support individuals and families in finding reliable and trustworthy accommodation and carers”.

Councils often use the health and social care crisis as mitigation to justify cuts to other services. But here we see an example of someone in the community looking to help with the shortage of care services in Andover and their application is rejected on dubious grounds.

Life is already tough for disabled children. They are statistically more likely to suffer from bullying and discrimination while those with a physical disability are three times as likely to become depressed.

And now it seems the disabled community have been dismissed by their own council.

Additional needs are complex. For the officer to write off any potential resident as “noisy” shows a woeful lack of understanding and compassion.

Writing in The Advertiser today, Andover mother Kate Hitchings described it as “disgusting” and said her disabled son was “not a nuisance”.

We agree. It is shocking that the council has made her feel otherwise.

Katie French, Editor