Homeless support complexes spark hundreds of objections
Date published: 06 February 2024
Photo: Google, DigitalGlobe
Land on Hornby Street, Heywood
Plans for two support complexes for those at risk of homelessness have stirred up frustration among objectors in Heywood.
Last month Rochdale Council submitted plans for two supported living complexes to help those who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness. One would contain eight flats on a piece of land between Tower Street and Pilsworth Road and the other on Hornby Street would contain 12 flats.
More than 230 objections have been received by the council for both applications combined so far – with the use of green space and location being a big issue.
For Graham Baker, a local objector, despite agreeing with the principle of the development, he believes that the locations are not suitable.
“We got a letter a while ago,” the 62-year-old Tower Street resident said. “This is the only bit of green land in the area.
“There are much better locations for this sort of development. If it goes through that busy area will be full of building work for ages.
“I do have concerns about the people coming out of care into these places as well. I have nothing against them being built, it’s just the wrong location.”
Graham believes there are more suitable sites elsewhere in the area. For the council, these complexes provide those who have nowhere else to go with a supported infrastructure.
For care leavers, whom they have a legal responsibility for, these homes are seen as a solution to stop them becoming at risk of homelessness and making sure they can get on the right path in life as they venture out on their own.
Councillor Danny Meredith, portfolio holder for regeneration and housing at the council, stated there would be checks completed before people enter the accommodation, but he said this is mainly targeted at preventing youth homelessness.
The councillor added that these bits of land are some of the last available that the council has – which is why other locations objectors are suggesting are off the table. Councillor Meredith told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the priority of the council is to make sure this land is used for the benefit of the community and its young people – rather than other means such as being sold off to developers.
If the plans are approved, the sites would be managed by Centrepoint, which is a charity dedicated to ending youth homelessness. They focus on giving young people not just a bed for a night but a home where they can reclaim their future with the support of dedicated frontline workers.
Planning documents read: “Rochdale Borough Council has a dedicated homeless and prevention team who manage various homeless accommodation within the Rochdale area and offer services for people who are homeless or fear becoming homeless. They believe that everyone has the right to good quality accommodation, and the kind of support that will allow them to reach their optimum level of independence.
“By offering a range of stable short-term accommodation with both on-site and floating support services, they aim to help their customers to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to secure and maintain independent accommodation.”
Residents in the area can have their say on both Heywood applications at the consultation meeting on Monday 12 February, 6pm at Heywood Sports Village.
George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter
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