Issued: March 6, 2018
NOTE TO MEDIA: Please use this version of the media release
Parish council raises concerns over homeless accommodation 'pods'
North Weald Bassett Parish Council has voiced no objection over plans to locate three steel-framed 'pods' in the grounds of Norway House to house 'vulnerable' homeless people.
However the council is to raise concerns with Epping Forest District Council over who will live in the 'pods' after originally being told the 'vulnerable' occupants would have mental health issues.
Parish clerk Sue De Luca told Monday's parish council planning committee meeting that district council planning officers had said 'vulnerable' simply related to the fact that the occupants would be homeless people.
Parish councillors are also concerned over the shared kitchens which form part of each of the 'pods'.
Councillor Terry Blanks said: "To have 'vulnerable' people in such close proximity sharing a kitchen is the height of stupidity."
Councillor Sheila Jackman said she felt that if the residents did have mental health issues then such accommodation was in the wrong place to house such people.
Mr Blanks added: "I'm also a bit worried about Redbridge importing somebody else's vulnerable adults into the village. It sounds like we have enough."
He also raised concern that the 'pods' were not part of the main Norway House.
He said: "What worries me is that these are not part of the main building so the ability of the staff to run it may not run to three 'shed' arrangements which puts a strain on the staff. "
He also highlighted the former Phoenix Hotel on Epping Road which was currently being used by Redbridge Council to house homeless people from the London borough.
The committee also raised concern over the appearance of the 'pods' next to an historic listed building.