Stocksbridge apartment plans bail hostel worry

DOZENS of people are objecting to plans to convert a carpet shop building into flats - which they fear will be used as a bail hostel.

Sheffield Council’s west and north planning board will consider the proposals for the premises on Manchester Road, Stocksbridge, at a meeting on Tuesday.

The application is for three apartments, two with six bedrooms and one with five bedrooms with shared facilities, using the basement, first and second floors.

The ground floor would continue to be used as a carpet shop.

Objections have been made by 21 residents plus Stocksbridge Town Council, town councillor Jack Clarkson and city councillor Philip Wood.

Residents said they feared the building could be used as a hostel for people on bail, or to house ‘down and outs’.

One resident said: “The development has potential to threaten the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

“It could result in children not being allowed to play out in the area and stop people with families buying in the area.”

Other objectors said they feared a rise in crime.

They also complained that extra windows proposed as part of the scheme would ‘overlook’ surrounding homes.

Lib Dem town councillor Jack Clarkson, a former police inspector, said: “It is unusual that there has been no consultation with residents or that a private developer is applying to create homes of multiple occupancy without knowing if there is a market for the unique nature of use.

“There has been a lack of consultation and it is believed by many people that the premises may be earmarked for a bail hostel.”

But Sheffield Council’s planning officers are recommending that the application is approved.

In their report, officials said: “It is not considered that the development would be harmful to the residential amenity of neighbouring properties.”

The council said there are no restrictions on development of multiple occupancy housing in the Stocksbridge area.