FAMILIES living near a planned youth hostel for homeless teenagers say they fear crime could rocket when the building opens.
Residents of Hungerford Road say they knew nothing about the plans for a nine-bedroomed hostel for homeless 16 to19-year-olds until building work started.
The borough council insists the building is vital to support needy youngsters in Crewe, but residents fear the facility will lead to a rise in crime and have launched a petition against it.
Single mum Deborah Quinn said: 'I live only two doors away from the proposed development and yet had not been informed of what the building is to be used for.
'In fact, it was only by chance that I found out from one of the workmen on site that the building was being turned into a YMCA.
'Why has such a development been approved in a residential area with a primary school, an old people's home and many of the residents having young children?
'We are all so angry and frustrated about this. I am concerned that there will be an increase in crime in the area when this facility opens.
'It is likely to be troubled youths and we are concerned it could turn the area into a new West End. It could slash thousands off house prices.'
The building is being developed by Dane Housing and will be managed by Crewe YMCA.
Borough council leader Peter Kent called the facility vital and said: 'It is for young and vulnerable people.
'They will be moved out of the YMCA in Gresty Road to where they will be supported better.
'People are understandably apprehensive about this, but there's no danger, the youths will be fully supervised.
'We don't see a problem.' A YMCA spokesman said: 'This would have around-the-clock care. The youths would be supervised 24 hours a day.'
A Dane Housing spokeswoman added: 'We were selected to be the developer after the borough council had taken an evaluation to assess the needs of people in Crewe. And this building was seen as a need.'