10:10pm Wednesday 6th February 2013
ANTI-social behaviour is the main concern residents have expressed about proposals to turn a disused social club into £2 million housing for homeless people.
Worcester Community Housing held a consultation session with people living close to the proposed redevelopment at Heenan’s Social Club in Sansome Walk, Worcester.
It hopes to turn the building into 16 studio apartments to provide a bridge for homeless people who have been living in hostels and are ready to make the next step towards independent living.
The plans have been drawn up with St Paul’s Hostel, who will move their offices to the building, and architects BM3. An application should be sent to the city council planners this month.
Funding for the project will mainly come from the Homes and Communities Agency as well as a grant from Worces-ter City Council and WCH’s loan facility which will be recouped through rent payments. About 40 residents attended the consultation to view the proposals and air any comments or concerns they had.
A WCH spokesman said people were generally supportive of the design of the redevelopment of the site and the proposed buildings and recognised that it would be an improvement on what is there now.
However, concerns were raised about the use of the building which mainly centred around anti-social be-haviour currently happening in the area and how people living in the apartments may add to this.
The spokesman said: “We responded to this by reinforcing that the proposed accommodation would not be a “shelter” facility where there is a high, daily turnover of residents.
“It would provide move-on accommodation for people who are able and committed to maintaining a tenancy and working towards a permanent housing solution.” Formal views, comments and objections will be raised as part of the planning process after the proposals have been submitted to Worcester City Council.
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