Objections to Hostel plan voiced by Demesne group

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Residents at Trostan Avenue are objecting to a planning proposal which they fear could create a hostel for the homeless on their doorstep.

Last week they were preparing to submit a total of 24 letters of objection to the Planning Service in respect of an application to demolish the former Old People’s Club premises at Trostan Avenue and construct a 20-bedroom residential building with communal/staff facilities.

A resident of the area, who spoke to The Times but did not wish to be identified, said she and five others received a letter from the applicants at the end of last month making them aware of plans to transfer the Simon Community’s Harryville based Mill House hostel facilities to the site.

At the start of this month, she said a number of residents and business premises in the immediate vicinity received correspondence from the Planning Service notifying them that a planning application had been submitted.

She said eight residents at Trostan Avenue and 16 at Tardree Grove would be demonstrating their concern and opposition to the application by submitting letters of objection.

“We feel there has not been enough consultation or contact made on this with the people living in the area.” the resident said.

“We appreciate the work that the Simon Community is doing and we appreciate that the residents of Mill House need somewhere to go but there are a lot of elderly residents living here.

“In addition,there is a Nursery full of kids and a Leisure Centre - it’s not the right area at all for this.

“It could open a whole range of problems that residents don’t need on their doorstep,” she claimed.

Concern over the proposal prompted residents to meet with local MLA Paul Frew.

He said: “A number of their concerns range from the built form and design of the buildingto the number of storeys and the glass frontage on every level that would overlook some of their properties.

“They are also concerned about the impact a building of this nature and service provided would have on the character of the area and the changes it would bring.

“I am happy to say also that the applicants have been willing to meet with some of the objectors which is a good thing,” he added.

A spokesperson for Triangle Housing Association stated: “The proposed scheme at Trostan Avenue will provide new accommodation for Simon Community NI supported housing services which has operated successfully at Mill House in Harryville for many years.

“Simon Community NI and Triangle have met with a number of representatives and local residents to answer their questions and we have also arranged a visit to Mill House.

“We would encourage any other resident who may have questions or would like to visit this scheme to contact Simon Community NI directly email joanneenglish@simoncommunity.org or telephone 028 9023 2882.”