Three Rivers District Council has proposed using the site of the existing RVS Hall in the Bury as a homeless hostel. They intend building a temporary structure of 17 modular units capable of housing over 100 homeless people on a site the size of two tennis courts.
Local Conservative Councillors voted against the proposal when it was brought before the Council’s Policy and Resources committee in November. “It is not the principle of providing this type of accommodation for the homeless which concerns us.” said Councillor Ralph Sangster “It is the proposed location. This is a conservation area and adjoining one of the few amenity areas in the Town Centre.”
The proposal, which is subject to a planning application in the New Year could accommodate over one hundred people.
Councillor Sangster confirmed that he had asked the Council if a social impact assessment had been undertaken. “This would provide important information on the impact the development would have on the local area and existing community but also its suitability for the proposed occupants.”
He went on to say; “When I raised this issue at committee I was told that an assessment had not been undertaken and was then set upon by Liberal Democrat members who accused me of having questionable moral values. I replied that local residents were concerned about the development and its impact and that as their representative I would raise those concerns in an appropriate way despite the aggressive and intimidating attitude being adopted by members of the Council’s political administration.”