Eight new flats for people who have been homeless will be built, despite concerns from neighbours that it will lead to anti-social behaviour and crime.

But a decision over another four similar flats nearby will be made another day, after councillors put a decision on hold.

Homelessness charity St Martin’s Housing Trust sought permission to demolish 24 garages on two sites in Netherwood Green, in Lakenham, Norwich.

Eastern Daily Press: The flats would be built on garage sites in LakenhamThe flats would be built on garage sites in Lakenham (Image: Norwich City Council)

The charity wants to build three two-storey blocks of one-bedroom flats to house vulnerable people, who have been homeless, in supported living for six to 12 months.

Eastern Daily Press: How the new flats would lookHow the new flats would look (Image: Norwich City Council)

But there were almost 30 objections to the plans.

Neighbours were worried there could be an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour, while their privacy would be lost.

Objector Hazel Niblett told councillors: “There does seem to be a lack of consideration for residents living in close proximity to adults who may have alcohol and drug issues.

“Just putting vulnerable people in a nice new flat does not address the causes or issues.

”While they should not be discriminated against, there should also not be any discrimination against existing residents.” 

Objector Jane Chilvers told the committee: “This really impacts on my home. I will lose my privacy.”

Eastern Daily Press: Dr Jan Sheldon, from St Martin’s Housing TrustDr Jan Sheldon, from St Martin’s Housing Trust (Image: David Cullingford)

Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martin’s Housing Trust, said: “I understand why people feel the need to object - people are naturally worried about change and the fear of the unknown.”

But she said a similar scheme in Recorder Road had also sparked opposition, yet there had been just three complaints about anti-social behaviour there since January.

Dr Sheldon said when issues did arise, the charity had procedures to quickly deal with them.

She said: “It is not until projects are operational that people see how hard we work to be the best neighbour we can be.”

The council’s planning committee unanimously agreed to grant planning permission for two of the three blocks.

But a decision on the third block was deferred so more discussions can take place about light levels and bin storage.