RESIDENTS opposed to siting a homeless shelter in their community were last night (Wednesday) holding a public meeting to which senior councillors had been invited.
People in Boughton and Hoole are furious after Cheshire West and Chester Council agreed a 36-bed hostel at Richmond Court near Hoole Lane bridge without consulting the community.
Last night members of the public were gathering at Hoole Community Centre with Tory council leader Mike Jones and chief executive Steve Robinson among those invited to attend.
A petition started by residents expresses “concerns for the safety of local children, cyclists, tourists and residents, as well as the users of the hostel being on the edge of the canal and over 15 minutes’ walk on the canal path to the services of Chester city centre”.
Meanwhile, Chris Allen, chief executive of Forum Housing Association, who would deliver the scheme in partnership with Chester and District Housing Trust (CDHT), struck a conciliatory tone when she told campaigners we ‘find ourselves in a period of reflection’ having listened to concerns.
In order to fully understand the council stance at this point, a meeting had been arranged with senior councillors and officers, she said in a letter.
“We will present the concerns which we have recorded to the councillors and officers at the meeting and look for their responses,” added Ms Allen.
Chester Conservative MP Stephen Mosley, who attended one of two public meetings staged by the housing providers in Boughton last week, said: “Local residents urgently need more information over what the specific proposals are for Richmond Court and I am very disappointed that they weren’t available at the public meeting.
“Residents’ opposition seems to centre on the possibility that people who require specialist care for alcohol or drug problems may be placed in a residential area and Forum Housing and CDHT need to ensure that residents’ concerns are taken into consideration.”