Monday 22 July 2024
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Controversial plans to transform Nottingham care home into flats for the homeless approved

Controversial plans to transform a former care home into a new housing scheme run by a homelessness support charity has been granted planning permission.

Framework, which supports vulnerable people across the city, wants to take over a former vacant care home on Watcombe Circus in Carrington.

It wants to transform the building into seven one-bedroom flats.

Concerns were raised by Cllr Adele Williams (Lab), ward councillor for Sherwood, on behalf of residents.

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People living at 14 properties in Watcombe Circus, Devonshire Road and Ravensmore Road have objected to the proposal.

A petition of 52 signatures calling for refusal was also sent to the council.

Cllr Williams said the development will change the dynamic of the area, which is predominately family homes.

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She told the Nottingham City Council planning committee on Wednesday, November 17: “They are concerned this type of development will not attract residents embedded in the community and they believe it is tipping from family housing to houses of multiple occupancy.”

The application has been submitted by an employee of Framework Housing Association, and although it has not been made in the name of that organisation, it is understood that the flats are likely to be occupied by their users, council planning officers said.

The applicant said: “Our application is for domestic flats, it is not for any kind of hostel. The people living in these flats will have their own tenancies, they will live independently but with a level of visiting support.

“The flats will house single people who have very little in the way of belongings and no likelihood of owning a car.”

The planning application was discussed by councillors on November 17.

Cllr Graham Chapman (Lab) said: “There is a danger for residents that if we stick with the existing use (a care home) it could be used for something more detrimental than what we are going to get now.

“The conversion to flats would be one of the better options.”

Cllr AJ Matsiko (Lab) raised concerns about the size of the flats.

Planning officers said some of the flats were below the national space standard, but they felt they were still “appropriate” due to the constraints of converting the building.

Some councillors called for a management plan to be drawn up to manage any anti-social behaviour coming from occupants.

But planning officers said this was not a policy that could be adopted and there were other channels to deal with these concerns if they arise.

Officers said there is a confirmed need for affordable and social one-bedroom self-contained homes in the city.

The report prepared for the meeting stated: “Supporting people into independent, settled accommodation is a key feature of the strategic approach to rough sleeping and single homelessness, providing a transition from supported accommodation to fully independent living.”

Councillors voted in favour of the application and planning permission was granted.

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