Antisocial behaviour fears from young person's hostel

A council's decision to refuse permission for the use of a property in a south Wales conservation area as a young person's hostel failed to secure support from an inspector who decided that its concern about antisocial behaviour had been over-estimated.

A housing association stated that the hostel would contain 10 people aged between 16 and 24 years along with support facilities and was a partnership approach with the council aimed at meeting their obligations to meet the needs of homeless people. The council’s housing officers would be responsible for referring people to the hostel. A manager’s office would be provided within the building and a member of staff would be present at all times, with residents having to abide by house rules. Nonetheless, the council claimed that the scheme would have a harmful impact on a local school, vulnerable adults and a mission for the deaf.

The inspector noted that planning permission had been granted for the use of the property for 10 flats with 14 car parking spaces. The scheme would entail less vehicular activity and it was sited on the fringe of a town centre where noise levels were generally higher than in the countryside. The police authority did not object to the development and while local residents had referred to the impact of another hostel in the town, the statistical evidence did not prove that residents of that establishment had been the cause of crime and antisocial behaviour. Thus, the council’s fears were not objectively justified and the appeal was allowed.

Inspector Iwan Lloyd; Written representations

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