HMO FUTURE IN DOUBT AS COUNCIL REFUSED TO REMOVE ‘SAFETY NET’ TIMEFRAME

The future of a Newport homeless hostel is now uncertain after the Isle of Wight Council rejected its request to take off a ‘safety net’ timeframe.

Deciding in favour of Castle Road residents who had objected to the scheme, the council’s planning committee voted to keep a condition that limits a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) on Castle Road to operating for 3 years. The committee did so to ensure the applicants Two Saints operated in best practice and dealt with any issues properly.

However, plans stalled since the original permission was granted in July, due to funding complications. Two Saints was hoping to receive money from Homes England to buy the Castle Lodge B&B, make changes and charge an affordable rent. The 3-year stipulation, however, was not welcomed by the funding body, who said it only supported projects with a longer, guaranteed, lifespan of 35 years.

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Speaking at the planning meeting yesterday, Two Saints’ regional director James McDermott said there was a very real housing crisis on the Island which is only going to be worsened as the housing prices continue to rise. Mr McDermott said it was the last thing on their mind to bring this back before the planning committee but wanted to confirm their commitment to the council in reducing homelessness, in line with the council’s strategy through to 2024, to ensure everyone on the Island has a place they can call home.

He said the HMO would give people an opportunity to live their lives while bringing extensive support to the community.

However, a Castle Road resident representative said they had lost all trust and faith in Two Saints but thanked the committee for originally installing the 3-year probation period, providing a protective safety net for residents.

Councillor Joe Lever, who was unable to attend the meeting, said the committee only had to answer one simple question to determine whether the application should be granted — whether ‘the actions of Two Saints or new information put forward significantly resolved the concerns the committee had to warrant the removal’.

Councillor Matt Price, who suggested installing a time condition in June, said he had come into the meeting wanting to be convinced by Two Saints but had been provided with very little and questioned whether anyone felt more comfortable than they had done previously.

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After originally being sceptical of the 3-year timeframe, Councillor Geoff Brodie said his view on the application had changed following problems in his ward with the Howard’s House Assessment Hub, a stage 1 homeless support centre at the former Barton Primary School. He said the 3-year condition for Castle Lodge, which would be a stage 2 homeless support, was a safety net his residents did not get.

Councillor Chris Jarman said it had been made clear to him that while the Island had a housing crisis, it needed to be managed and well maintained to benefit everyone and the opt-out clause of the application was critical.

All but 1 of the 11 councillors on the committee voted to reject the application, with Councillor Michael Beston abstaining from the vote.

Two Saints has been contacted for a comment.

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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
23 days ago

good – perhaps these do gooders at two saints, will now look to create HMO in their own street, next to their own homes and not impose on the residents of a street against their will.

Ting tong from tooting
Ting tong from tooting
Reply to  isle of wighter
23 days ago

It is not all negative living next door to an HMO, I lived next door to one ( I won’t say where ). But I could buy a nice joint of roast beef every Sunday and also the odd fillet of steak through the week. And as for Christmas, I was spoilt for choice, perfume and electric shaver’s etc. I did once ask them how they managed to sell it so cheap and they said it was bankrupt stock.
I sometimes wonder why/how they are homeless, as they are wonderful business people.

Sunnydaze
Sunnydaze
23 days ago

Well done council for listening to the local community

Surfingwithsharks
Surfingwithsharks
23 days ago

shame locals are now being displaced by our new locals, new locals have houses, how so?

Mmmm
Mmmm
23 days ago

Shouldn’t even be something that’s voted on, it should be mandatory to have a trial period.

If Two Saints were investing its own capital, wouldn’t be an issue.

Telling it like it is.
Telling it like it is.
23 days ago

I don’t suppose anyone would object if the location of one of these places were not in the middle of a residential area where the people already there might have to suffer worrying disturbances in the vicinity if the plans to house a number of people who may cause problems in the area to nearby residents. Look what has happened in other instances where these HMOs are. Set aside an area away from regular people and have the HMOs there, they would probably be happier as have others similar around them. Do good brigade want us all living in one great big melting pot, but it doesn’t work, people gravitate towards their own kind.

Ting tong from tooting
Ting tong from tooting
Reply to  Telling it like it is.
23 days ago

Good point, the perfect place would be the now defunct hmp camphill. It would cost a fair amount of money to convert into one bedroom apartments but in the long term it would solve the islands housing and homeless crises at the stroke of a pen for the next one hundred years. Just think how many one/two bedroom apartments that they could fit on the site comfortably ( up to 1000 ? ). It could have on site 24 hour security, plus they could even integrate other local public agencys that already help with alcohol/drug service etc. Also it is opposite the hospital for health, college for further education and also the industrial estate for jobs. It could even incorporate 3/4 bedroom apartments for local families with its own school. The whole complex could be self contained and self sufficient if this is wanted or needed. It could have a… Read more »

Sense Able
Sense Able
Reply to  Telling it like it is.
23 days ago

Surely it would make sense to build these places next to a councillor or police officer house. Then they could really see and hear if these unfortunate people are just unlucky as they assume OR if as we know that they are homeless for a reason which is often because they are not nice and most never will be

Telling it like it is.
Telling it like it is.
Reply to  Sense Able
22 days ago

Well I suppose that might encourage them to behave a little better if they knew the police were living next door. It might make them think twice before indulging in any anti social or disruptive behaviour if they thought it would have unfortunate consequences for themselves, if they were serious about turning their lives around for the better that is. I’m sure some of them are, it’s the rest that is the problem, only takes one bad apple to spread the rot to all the rest if not removed.

Colleen
Colleen
Reply to  Telling it like it is.
23 days ago

Quite agree, could convert the unused prison into a self contained accommodation with MH staff on site, provide the services these people need under one umbrella, nobody should be homeless but some people cant maintain a tenency, this would offer a safe place away from town and take people off the streets

plato
plato
23 days ago

Good. Lets hope this has killed this project stone dead.

Sunshine
Sunshine
22 days ago

Oh come on, we all know these places house ‘some’ trouble makers (not all). The Police are constantly at certain addresses in Sandown. Well done to the council for not giving in and sticking to their guns regarding the safety clause. Residents anywhere on the island don’t want these HMOs blighting their streets due to drug takers and alcoholics who live in them. I feel sorry for the genuine homeless, law abiding people who have to live with the low life residents.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Sunshine
22 days ago

from todays island echo

An ‘extremely unhappy’ Isle of Wight councillor has slammed the new homeless assessment hub in Newport — despite welcoming it with open arms months ago.
In the 3 months since the £750,000 Howard House opened at the former Barton Primary School site, Councillor Geoff Brodie said he has seen levels of anti-social behaviour, drink and drug abuse, noise and disturbance all increase in his ward of Pan and Barton.
Howard House is the Island’s only homeless assessment hub, led by the Salvation Army, providing accommodation for up to 17 people; moving away, the Isle of Wight Council says, from traditional models of support.

BWight
BWight
21 days ago

As i commented last time, is this correct anyway? This property was for sale recently (~weeks ago!) and didn’t mention any in-situ tennants.

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