Hope4’s plans for a homeless hostel in Rugby finally scuppered

editorial image

HOMELESSNESS charity Hope4 has been denied permission to open an emergency hostel for homeless people on Lawford Road.

The charity wanted to open the centre at a property in Lawford Road opposite the Total garage, but neighbours living nearby on Vicarage Road and Lawford Road objected due to possible disturbances by the hostel’s clientèle. The plans were deferred from a planning meeting last month while Hope4 revised the plans, but the charity’s case was drowned out by the pleas of residents concerned about crime, disturbances and antisocial behaviour.

At a borough planning meeting last week, the proposal was rejected by seven councillors to two.

Cllr Tina Avis (Lab, New Bilton), one of the councillors who supported the application, said: “The problem is wherever you want to have a homeless hostel you will have the same problems with neighbours not wanting it there. If Hope4 found an alternative location they would have the same problems getting planning permission for it.”

In their report, officers refused the application as it would have a “detrimental impact” on the amenities of residents. The planning report said: “Whilst the council understands the needs of Hope4 to move to larger premises and appreciates the value of the work they undertake within Rugby, the proposed location, when considering it in terms of land use planning, is just not suitable due to the close proximity of residential dwellings and the detrimental impact it would have upon the amenities of residents.”

Vicar Martin Saxby, of St Matthews and St Oswalds church, supported the project. “The work of Hope4 serves a very real need in Rugby, which we as a church have supported,” he told planning officers.