A THREE-year trial period leading to a funding hiccup have put plans for a Newport homeless support accommodation in danger.

The Castle Lodge guest house on Castle Road, Newport, looked set to be transformed into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) following recent approval by Isle of Wight Council planners..

The HMO will be run by Two Saints to provide affordable, good-quality and supported accommodation for people to continue their recovery journey as part of the council's homeless pathway.

The accommodation will help those ready to live more independently and be a base for them for between three and 12 months, while they find somewhere more permanent to live.

However, a decision to limit the permission for Two Saints to three years, instead of indefinitely, has caused problems for the not-for-profit organisation with it being unable to secure a Homes England grant to buy the property.

Now Two Saints is looking to change the permission from three years to permanent use.

The property will be an 11-room HMO, suitable for up to 12 residents, with staff present on-site seven days a week from 9am to 8am Monday to Saturday and 9am to 12pm on Sundays, with 24/7 support through on-call managers.

In documents supporting the application, the organisation said: "Without Homes England grant subsidy, the purchase of Castle Lodge is financially unviable for us, meaning we will not be able to purchase the property and ensure rent levels are affordable and within social rent levels.

"By removing the condition, we would obtain a permanent permission that runs with the land/property and enables us to obtain grant to subsidise and achieve social rents."

The condition was attached to the planning permission by the committee after councillors deemed not enough had been done to reassure neighbours and engage with them about the accommodation which led to a lot of misinformation, objections, stereotypes and panic.

A proposed management plan has also been submitted for approval, laying out what security provisions will be in place, how the residents will be chosen to live there and how anti-social behaviour may be dealt with.

Two Saints said: "We believe the property to be a really good opportunity to change lives and enable people to take new steps on their individual journeys.

"We see the property and the residents as part of the local community and to this end, Two Saints staff will liaise with the community prior to opening to talk through the aims of the service and answer any queries."

The organisation said it will fully engage with groups to ensure smooth and safe implementation and running of the HMO.

To view the plans, 21/01450/RVC, you can visit the council's planning portal. Comments can be accepted until Friday, August 13.

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