Norwich hostel proposals sent back for more work

Mary HamiltonProposals for a new hostel for young homeless men and ex-offenders in Norwich have been held back in an attempt to make sure concerns from families living nearby are properly dealt with.Mary Hamilton

Proposals for a new hostel for young homeless men and ex-offenders in Norwich have been held back in an attempt to make sure concerns from families living nearby are properly dealt with.

The charity St Edmund's Society and Broadland Housing Association want to build the hostel on a former garage site on the corner of Crome Road and Dibden Road in the north of the city to replace a similar hostel in Earlham Road.

It would house 16 young men aged between 16 and 30, along with five flats to help people aged up to 49 back into independent living.

But, as reported in the Evening News last month, families have raised concerns about the hostel, with nearly 300 people attending four consultation events.


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A report due to be presented to the city council's executive committee yesterday lists concerns including too many similar schemes nearby, fears that it would lead to drug crime in the area, house values would be reduced and that people did not want ex-offenders in the area.

But city council officers point out that St Edmund's has a zero policy on drugs, a good relationship with the police and staff are on site 24 hours a day, with residents made to sign up to rules and regulations and to be willing to change their behaviour.

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They also remind councillors that St Edmund's does not take in any high-risk offenders.

But last night the report was sent back to officers for more work before it is reconsidered later this month.

Council leader Steve Morphew said: 'We need to make sure we make proper account of the views of people locally.

'We need to get some more work done on it so we can make a proper decision later this month.'

Mr Morphew warned that the meeting where the report will be presented on June 23 would not be a 'free-for-all debate' but would follow standard executive procedure.

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