PLANS to turn a foster care unit into low-cost housing for young people have been approved by Worcester City Councillors despite objections from residents.

The YMCA plans to turn the centre in Stanley Road, Worcester into 14 homes for people aged between 18 and 35 who are “in work, training or work-based education, on a low wage, but capable of living independently and with no recent history of anti-social behaviour”.

Some neighbours had objected as they feared “drug users and criminals” would move in.

At the planning committee meeting last Thursday, Councillor Chris Cawthorne said: “There have been loads of objections but I think that’s based on a misconception that ex-clients of the YMCA would be living here.

“That’s not the case. This facility will be for young people starting out in life who need a bit of help. Accommodation like this is an important facility for those taking their first steps in life on their own.

Councillor Roger Berry added: “It’s only recently been used as a foster care unit. Before that it was a hostel for people with mental health problems. For many years this has been used for institutional use."

Councillors unanimously approved the application.