A prominent Isle of Wight politician has joined the objectors to a proposed house of multiple occupancy in Sandown to help the Island’s homeless.
Cllr Paul Brading, cabinet member for children’s services in the outgoing Tory IW Council administration and deputy mayor of the town, said he was ‘acutely aware’ of the need to support the principle of housing provisions for homeless and vulnerable people.
Brading: ‘Incompatible and unacceptable’ use of the site
However, he was concerned about the application due to the potential ‘incompatible and unacceptable’ use of the site, such as the risk of anti-social behaviour.
If it were to be approved, he said, ‘very strict conditions’ would have to be added.
Not-for-profit homeless service
Applicants Two Saints, a not-for-profit homeless service, are asking to change the former Hendre B&B on Leed Street into an eight-bed house of multiple occupancy (HMO).
The HMO would be used as part of the council’s homeless pathway to reduce rough sleeping.
Local residents have continued to express fears about having the HMO on their street, as it was ‘not a suitable location’ for that type of facility, especially with other HMOs already in the area.
Already affecting residents
One objector said the proposals are already having an effect on residents with another pleading with the council’s planning department to allow them to ‘feel safe in their homes’.
Another said they were ‘heartbroken’ and ‘boiling with rage’ believing their children and grandchildren would no longer be safe or secure in the area.
Petitions to reject plans
Two petitions have been started both calling for the council to reject the proposals, signed by nearly 160 between the two and attracting signatures from across the UK as well Germany and Canada.
Many residents in their objections say the HMO would attract tenants like ex-convicts, which would go against the safe, family neighbourhood.
Tenants not placed directly from the street
In planning documents, however, Two Saints say the accommodation would be used as ‘move-on’ property with tenants not placed in the HMO directly from the street, but will have gone through an initial process to determine they are ready to live independently and successfully and not ‘negatively impact’ the local community.
Numerous comments were made about the lack of dialogue on the plans with residents and Sandown Town Council, who are also objecting to the proposals.
Comments on the application have now closed, with the Isle of Wight Council set to make a decision by 21st June.
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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