Hostel need is proven - applicant

The Old Brass Works, Maude Street, West Vale.
The Old Brass Works, Maude Street, West Vale.

The Ashley Foundation has defended its plans for a hostel in West Vale for vulnerable adults.

Hundreds of people have objected to the proposals for a 32-room hostel at The Old Brassworks, Maude Street.

An action group has also been formed to fight the plans with residents worried about a hostel in a residential area.

There was also strong opposition at a recent Greetland and Stainland ward forum meeting.

Foundation spokeswoman Amber Sylvester said prospective residents will be a mix of people from young people unable to access any accommodation to people with substance or offending backgrounds.

“Whilst we accommodate some people with substance or offending backgrounds, we also accommodate a significant number of people who have become homeless because of relationship breakdown, debt, mortgage repossession etc,” she said.

“Additionally, people with substance problems are living in the community anyway.

“If they are in supported accommodation they are much more likely to be able to access the services that they need to get support.”

Objectors have said West Vale is not best served by facilities but Ms Sylvester said it would be no more difficult for a hostel resident to attend such places as a JobCentre than other residents.

“Additionally, there are a number of other community based services that we are currently in discussion with regarding delivery of on-site learning opportunities such as literacy, numeracy, IT and health,” she said.

“Calderdale Substance Misuse Services also delivers services from GP surgeries covering most localities in Calderdale.”

She also dismissed concerns over traffic.

“Residents are not typically car owners and the proposal will generate significantly less traffic than the last use of the building or if the building was to be re-used for an alternative industrial use which would not need planning permission.

“The need for supported accommodation has been identified by the local authority. Calderdale has a problem with homelessness and this is increasing.

“Last winter the council registered 34 single homeless people who had to be referred to neighbouring districts.

“The Ashley Foundation will work with the council’s Options Team to help place Calderdale people.”

The council’s planning committee will discuss the planning application at a future date. The action group has 1,800 supporters and the application has attracted nearly 600 comments.