Application for residence to help the Island’s homeless withdrawn following strong opposition

Although the HMO residents would not be placed directly from the street, neighbours said they ‘would not feel safe’ having the tenants on their doorstep

Leed Street property

After residents and the Deputy Mayor fought against the proposals, plans for a homeless recovery hostel in Sandown have been withdrawn.

Plans were submitted in February, by Two Saints, a not-for-profit service, to turn the former Hendre B&B, on Leed Street, into an eight-bed house of multiple occupation (HMO) to be used as part of the Isle of Wight Council’s homeless pathway, to try and help people stay off the streets.

Residents not placed directly from the street
When applying for permission, Two Saints said individuals who used the HMO would not be placed directly from the street, but would have gone through an initial process to determine they were ready to live independently, successfully and not ‘negatively impact’ the community.

They said,

“We believe the property to be a really good opportunity to change lives and enable people to take new steps on their individual journeys.”

Withdrawn with no reason given
Now, just over two months later, the application has been withdrawn but with no reason given as to why.

In a letter on the council’s planning register from Oliver Boulter, the council’s strategic manager for planning and infrastructure, it shows Two Saints asked for the application to be withdrawn on Friday, 16th April.

Two Saints have been approached for comment.

Police broadly supported application
A crime and disorder assessment done by Hampshire Constabulary in response to the application said while they did have concerns about the possible problems caused by residents they broadly supported the application, but only if the tenants were at the appropriate stage of recovery to be there.

Residents opposed plans
However, residents, joined by the Deputy Mayor Paul Brading, were unhappy with the proposal and called for it to be turned down in more than 30 objections and two petitions, which were signed by nearly 160 people.

Many residents in their objections said the HMO would attract tenants like ex-convicts, which would go against the safe, family neighbourhood.

Objections: ‘Would not feel safe’
ne mother said she was concerned having the HMO on the street would make a ‘scary and intimidating atmosphere’ for her son, as anti-social behaviour came ‘hand in hand’ with this type of accommodation.

Residents said they were already ‘blighted by HMOs’ in the area, ‘sick of the trouble they cause’ and ‘would not feel safe’ having the tenants on their doorstep.

Comments were also left about the lack of dialogue between Two Saints and Leed Street residents as well as Sandown Town Council.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may have been made by OnTheWight. Ed

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2 Comments on "Application for residence to help the Island’s homeless withdrawn following strong opposition"

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Angela Hewitt
The trouble VentnorLad is everyone is a NIMBY one way or another. I call them the common peoples House of Lords. It is easy to criticise when it doesn’t affect you. Maybe the applicant should have considered the neighbours reaction before applying. Maybe the applicant should have consulted with the neighbours first and reassured them of their intentions. Maybe there are better places to give the homeless… Read more »

NIMBY’s 1 – Vulnerable & Disadvantaged 0

I really hope a less selfish community than that on Leed Street in Sandown can be found to welcome and support some of our struggling fellow citizens.

Genuinely saddened by this.