Community says that Corby homeless shelter is not in the right place

The former gym site in Cannock Road where the Nightlight shelter may be based
The former gym site in Cannock Road where the Nightlight shelter may be based

People living near the site of a proposed homeless shelter in Corby say the new centre is not in the right location.

Last week, the Northants Telegraph revealed that Nightlight, who want to open the shelter in a former working men’s club in Cannock Road, are pressing on with their scheme despite local worries.

But now people living and working around the site say they are scared of problems that the centre may bring.

Maxeen Belsky, who lives in Occupation Road, is representing a group of concerned residents who have got together to oppose the scheme.

She says that 250 people have signed a petition and many have written letters of objection to Corby Council, who will decide the fate of the scheme at their forthcoming planning meeting in June.

She said: “We know that a shelter is desperately needed in Corby and we do support the principle.

“However, this is not the right place.

“The old people’s home is extremely close to the building and the elderly people there are scared.”

The application is for a year-round, 24-hour shelter that would provide up to 36 beds as well as services such as a doctor, a dentist and alcohol and drugs recovery. It would also have a detox facility as well as a laundry, TV rooms and kitchen.

The applicants, voluntary group Nightlight, say that the centre is necessary because they helped 101 different homeless people in Corby during the past winter in their now-closed facility at St Peter and St Andrew’s Church.

They also say that they have looked at many other venues around the town and none is suitable.

Maxeen added: “We are worried that drugs may be used around the centre.

“What happens to anyone else that turns up when all the beds are filled? Where do the people go who are turned away.

“The shopkeepers in Occupation Road are concerned about their businesses.

“We don’t feel that they’ve looked everywhere in Corby for more suitable premises.

“We are also concerned that the funding is not in place for the full redevelopment and that they will open before it’s completed.

“Once the people leave the shelter, there’s nowhere around here for them to go so we have worries that they’ll loiter around. The town centre is quite a walk from here.

“This is a built-up, residential area made up of vulnerable people who are scared.”

Nightlight volunteer Nicola Pell told the Northants Telegraph earlier this week that she will employ a strict no-loitering policy and that there will be CCTV surrounding the building.

You can view the plans and comment on them here