Over 1200 sign petition against plans to turn Sheffield hotel into homeless housing
More than 1,200 people signed a petition launched by Labour councillors against plans to turn a former hotel into housing for the homeless.
Fairhome Group submitted plans to Sheffield Council to turn Staindrop Lodge on Lane End, Chapeltown, into 44 affordable studio units.
As well as the studios, the proposed development would have modern amenities including kitchen and en-suite facilities, a formal outside area and a gym.
The council used the site to accommodate people without a home during the Covid-19 pandemic but neighbouring residents are concerned anti-social behaviour, begging and noise they experienced during this time will worsen if the plans are approved.
Sheffield Labour councillors Andy Bainbridge and Adam Hurst launched the petition following concerns raised by local residents.
In their petition statement, they said the planning application was “wholly inadequate” for the area and will not address the support needs of the highly vulnerable residents it would serve.
Coun Bainbridge, East Ecclesfield ward representative, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has signed our petition objecting to these proposals. This is one of the biggest petitions in the area I’ve seen since I became a local councillor, and I think it reflects the local feeling about how inappropriate these proposals are.
“We understand the concerns raised about the situation with Staindrop Lodge, and are determined to find a future solution which meets the needs of the local community.
Coun Hurst, West Ecclesfield ward representative, added: “Many constituents have raised concerns with me about these proposals and the number of signatures is nearing one and half thousand. I would urge anyone who has concerns about this application to please sign the petition as it is still open.
“I’m grateful to all of those who have signed and we will take this petition to Sheffield Council’s planning committee. Hopefully we can get this appalling planning application rejected.”
As well as the petition, there are more than 250 objections to the proposals on the council’s planning portal.
Responding to the objections, a Fairhome Group spokesperson said: “Our scheme will involve refurbishing the existing building, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of people being housed compared to those housed at present under its existing use. The scheme will also only be for people wanting to make the transition back to independent living.
“We are in the midst of a homelessness crisis in the UK and this has been worsened by the pandemic with a record number of households approaching their local council for help to find a home. The scheme is a small but significant contribution to giving people an opportunity to take a step nearer independent living. Every new scheme like this across the country helps more people whose only alternative may be living without somewhere they can call home.
“We would like to reassure local people that, should the scheme get the go-ahead, we believe it will make a positive contribution to the local community, will be well-managed and help to tackle a crisis that is causing misery for many thousands of people.”
To read the plans in full or comment, visit https://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QNAKNXNYJ9200