Shropshire Star

Residents flock to express concerns over 'homeless' plans for former Shrewsbury retirement home

Concerned residents flooded a venue in Shrewsbury to find out more about plans to turn a retirement home into supported housing for homeless people.

Coton Hill House on the corner of Berwick Avenue and Corporation Lane, in Shrewsbury

Shropshire Council says it is experiencing increasing number of people presenting as homeless, especially after the were ousted from their tenancies by private landlords under controversial no-fault eviction laws.

The authority is building up to submitting a planning application later this summer to use Coton Hill House in Berwick Avenue as a venue. It says it wants to provide supported housing for single households who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness.

But the chance that even a minority of people there may have serious alcohol and mental health problems has raised fears in the community of continuing issues with antisocial behaviour. Residents are aware of issues with drunks, noise and people throwing cans and bottles into private gardens.

Nick Barnes, from Berwick Road, said: "My problem then and now is less with the idea of supported housing and more with the lack of effective planning and consultation."

He was involved in a similar consultation held last year and is still looking for answers to questions he posed then.

Concerned resident Nick Barnes

"They could not say what model they have based this on, so we can check it out," he said. "They haven't presented a single example of one."

He added: "Their criteria for selection has never appeared and this feels like a lack of transparency."