A centre which would provide vital training and shelter to mothers and their newborns might be built.

A planning application for the Oak Porch House in Nazeing is due to be scrutinised by Epping Forest District Councillors on February 13.

If approved, families would stay at the property for between 12 and 16 weeks on average, with a social worker and manager on site during the day and a member of staff on hand at night.

Up to six families consisting of one mother and one baby could stay at the house.

While most would have been involved with the family court system in some way, those not subject to the court order could stay in some instances.

The application reads: "The key objection of the unit is for parents with babies, usually newborns, to be supported and their parenting skills to be assessed, such as the ability to buy and prepare food for their family.

"The assessments would also focus on the emotional and physical development of the children referred to the centre, by either a local authority or by a court, alongside the promotion of a parent’s self esteem and confidence, psychological assessment and child development needs.

"Ultimately, transitional plans are developed whilst families are at the unit to enable the retention and growth of parenting skills which would ensure families can function long term, within communities, without requiring assistance."

The application received objections from six people living nearby, who raised concerns about noise, parking and crime and disorder.

Nazeing Parish Council also argued against the proposal.

Clerk Lorraine Ellis summarised: "With potentially 22 people in residence/employed at the dwelling, there would be parking issues and over-crowding.

"There is concern that it is an extensive development in a residential area which could result in difficulties occurring."