Angry residents and councillors held a meeting on Monday in reaction to a letter that was sent out to the local community by a homeless charity claiming a care home in Gedling would soon be converted to provide ‘supported accommodation’.
All Saints Homeless Shelter charity sent the letter to residents on Stoke Lane informing them they would be taking over the management of the former Stoke House care home.
The letter stated that “All Saints Homeless Shelter offers temporary accommodation to its residents, until permanent housing can be found for them.
“We will have staff on site 24 hours a day, during the day support workers will be actively working with the residents to assist them with personal development and finding permanant housing.”
The letter sparked outrage in the local community and an urgent meeting was called to discuss proposals.
One resident who didn’t wish to be named told Gedling Eye: “This has come completely out of the blue.
“It’s not that they can’t have a shelter here, it’s just that no-one has consulted with the local community and I don’t think that’s right. We should be allowed to have a say about what’s being put on our doorstep.”
Trent Valley councillors Sam Smith and Mike Adams were at the meeting and assured residents enforcement action would be taken ‘if necessary’ to stop work going ahead until a consultation had taken place and planning permission was granted.
In a joint statement the councillors said: “On Friday, residents of Stoke Lane received a letter from an organisation detailing plans for a change of use of Stoke House on Stoke Lane.
“We’ve now held a public meeting with Stoke Lane residents and those surrounding to provide the following update.
“Neither us or Gedling Borough Council were aware of the plans detailed in the letter.
“After being contacted by concerned residents over the lack of consultation, we contacted the Gedling Borough Council Planning Department who have confirmed that a change of use will require planning permission, which, if applied for, will trigger a public consultation and give all residents the chance to comment on the future use of Stoke House.
“Gedling Borough Council Enforcement Officers have contacted the organisation, who distributed Friday’s letter, to inform them that no further action can be taken until they submit a formal planning application. Enforcement action will be taken, if necessary. “
A Gedling Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our Planning Officers have been made aware of an intention to change the use of a former care home into a hostel for homeless people. Any change of this kind requires a planning application which we have not received from the owners at this time.
“Following complaints from nearby residents, we have contacted the owners and are in discussions with them about the planning requirements. The owner is co-operating with our Planning Enforcement Team and has not carried out any changes to the site.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and keep nearby residents informed of any updates.”
Gedling Eye contacted All Saints Homeless Shelter for response following the meeting.
A spokesman said: “To clarify, we are not opening as a homeless shelter, we are re-opening the care home with round the clock care being provided to the vulnerable individuals.
“We are aiming to open in the coming weeks, and are currently in communication with Gedling Borough Council to facilitate a smooth re-opening.
“A meeting was held at Stoke House with local residents and the police present. Our representative and the volunteer clarified the charity’s position on the re-opening and answered many questions in the hopes to alleviate concerns.
They added:” The charity is very excited about the project and welcomes the local community to get involved in the effort to help those in need.
Got a local story? Let our news team know by emailing [email protected]