Northfleet pub to be turned into homeless shelter

ANNOYED residents have vowed to appeal after Gravesend Council granted permission to transform a former pub into a homeless shelter.

The Sisters of Mercy will now convert the Rising Sun public house into a place where 12 homeless people can live and get rehabilitated. Despite the public gallery being packed out with concerned neighbours from Seymour Road, the committee put the application through agreeing that the Sisters of Mercy had a 'first-class reputation' and would manage the venue successfully.

Carly Cox, who lives next to the pub, spoke at the meeting and raised concerns about possible drug dealing and other crime.

She said: "We are going to appeal this decision.

"We all feel let down that this has been given the go-ahead, it was already decided before we even got here.

"I was homeless at 17 but this is the wrong area for something like this.

"We visited the Edmund street house and it looked more like a squat with the curtains hanging down and men were smoking cannabis, "We don’t want this in our area, at the moment it is crime free according to the police."

Councillor Lee Croxted said at the meeting: "In planning terms there is no way I can turn it down.

"We don’t want to see cheap rented accommodation being put here.

"The House of Mercy provide a real channel for those disadvantaged people in our community."

Councillor Robin Theobald added: "The place needs to be managed properly if it is going to work.

"This is not an ideal site but with the management record of the Sisters of Mercy I think things will be fine." The charity has two other properties in Gravesend – in Edwin Street and Hillside Drive – and the council says it has not caused problems in those areas.

The Houses of Mercy will not allow arsonists, sex offenders and people with a history of violence to stay.

The Sisters of Mercy have a strict code that its tenants would need to observe, including no alcohol or drugs, including cigarettes.

The application was unanimously granted by the committee at Thursday night's meeting (Dec 12).

Sister Magdalene Reilly from the Sisters of Mercy said afterwards: "Obviously we are very pleased and we hope work to start soon.

"There are lots of homeless people in Gravesend and we hope it will be ready soon."

Comments (5)

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3:07pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

"If you build it they will come " LOL

Where's your Christmas spirit you NIMBYs
"If you build it they will come " LOL Where's your Christmas spirit you NIMBYs Gypo.Joe

3:48pm Fri 13 Dec 13

ElsieH says...

People never want places like this right next door, but it was a pub previously so why are they now worried about crime and drugs?!
People never want places like this right next door, but it was a pub previously so why are they now worried about crime and drugs?! ElsieH

9:57am Sat 14 Dec 13

joncook says...

Disgusting!! These people are homeless not criminals, they deserve every bit of help they can get and all these selfish residents care about is themselves. I suggest you all take a long hard look at yourself and think about how easy it would be for you to fall through the cracks and the support you would want and need if it did happen.
Disgusting!! These people are homeless not criminals, they deserve every bit of help they can get and all these selfish residents care about is themselves. I suggest you all take a long hard look at yourself and think about how easy it would be for you to fall through the cracks and the support you would want and need if it did happen. joncook

10:15am Sat 14 Dec 13

Meehir says...

You do not realise how lucky you are not to be homeless. You should look at it from another perspective, it's not near me. Also, as I understand the nature of the location, the value of nearby houses would rocket. Be grateful!
You do not realise how lucky you are not to be homeless. You should look at it from another perspective, it's not near me. Also, as I understand the nature of the location, the value of nearby houses would rocket. Be grateful! Meehir

3:07pm Sat 14 Dec 13

goldenbroomboy says...

Give them a chance.
Give them a chance. goldenbroomboy

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