Anger is mounting over plans to convert a number of Chester properties into homeless accommodation.
Two petitions have been set up – one for and the other against – over plans to change two properties on Brook Lane, in Chester, into rooms for the homeless community.
More than 250 people have signed a petition against the proposals, with residents slamming the council for a ‘lack of consultation.’
However, 161 people have signed a petition supporting the plans citing ‘that action must be taken to support people who are homeless, and to prevent more people facing the same crisis.’
Cheshire West and Chester Council are proposing a mix of 21 rooms and studios for the homeless at 26, 27 and 28 Brook Lane which they hope will be a ‘vital’ source for the homeless community.
The rooms will comprise of 13 bedsits at number 26 and 27 and eight bedsits at number 28.
But not everyone agrees with the accommodation on offer.
“This will be a disaster for the Brook Lane area if the council get away with this,” said one Cheshire Live reader.
Commenting on our original story – which can be read here – ‘Js2’ said: “They’re moving the homeless out of hotels because hotels are expensive, and they want to spend as little of the homeless budget on accommodation as they possibly can.
“A hostel is not a home. It is a hostel regardless of what they claim.
“Communal living like this can be dangerous and harmful to the homeless, and harmful to residents of the area.”
Local resident Carolyn Anne said she hadn’t heard of the plans until now.
She commented on Facebook: “Don’t object in principle to this proposal but as a local resident it would have been helpful to have had more consultation and notice.”
Meanwhile, Bob Fell said: “There goes the property prices for the area, a disaster waiting to happen.”
The proposals for 26-27 Brook lane would be to have 13 studios/rooms which will include a kitchenette and bathroom.
A staff office is also being proposed at the front of the property as well as a separate staff toilet.
Cheshire West and Chester Council have said the properties will be managed by the council’s commissioned homeless support provider Forfutures and will be staffed 24/7.
Many others have reacted to the anger proposed at the plans.
Barbara Cobb commented on Facebook: “Show some humanity for others. The way the economy is going anyone could be at risk of losing there home.”
Stuart Holland added: “To all the people who have commented on the homelessness of unfortunate circumstances in people’s life’s, yes I know that some of them are pretty bad eggs but not all of them, imagine if you became to find yourself in this predicament, pause for thought folks. Enough said.”
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One resident has said people have a right to raise concerns over the plans.
Sebastian Cowden commented on Facebook: “People have a right to raise concerns, based upon experience and research, without being dismissed and patronised.
“There is a genuine difference between a halfway house and a place that attracts long-term criminals.
“We have a halfway house at the bottom of our street, converted from a former pub and except for a small amount occasional littering/flytipping and some drug dealing, it hasn’t caused any problems.
“I know of others that are well run and genuinely exist to help people back into proper accommodation, that cause no problems.
“However there are other ones in my town that are used by people who cause genuine problems.
“It’s all very well insisting that shelters away from your own area are okay, but perhaps your front garden isn’t used as a toilet and a tip for needles and empty bottles.
“Perhaps you haven’t had your windows smashed, or your family attacked because you raised concerns about having to pick up litter and clean up from your garden.
“People in these neighbourhoods are entitled to basic respect and a voice just as much as the homeless are.”
To find out more about local issues in your area enter your postcode below .
If you wish to comment on the planning application, you may want to register your views here.
Residents without access to a computer are being advised to share their comments by writing to Development Management, Cheshire West And Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE.