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Plans for controversial homeless hostel in Walsall are resubmitted

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | News | Published:

Controversial plans to transform a Walsall nursing home into a homeless hostel are back on the table after being resubmitted.

The former Orchard Manor care home. Photo: Google

Plans to transform Orchard Manor into a 41-bed hostel were withdrawn last year after dozens of people signed a petition and objected.

An objection from MP Valerie Vaz was handed in to the council and Housing Standards previously raised concerns that the hostel would bring a large number of ex-offenders to the area.

Now a new application has been submitted to Walsall Council for a 37-bed house of multiple occupancy (HMOs) for vulnerable homeless people.

In the plans it says: "Midshires is very aware that Slaney Road is a residential area and that residents living nearby the proposed HMO site may be very anxious about who may potentially be residing at 42 Slaney Road.

"Each resident will be carefully assessed prior to being accepted into the accommodation.

"Currently our referrals are generated from all over the West Midlands, from various organisations both statutory, voluntary and private.

"We provide long and short-term accommodation, providing supervision, support and care on a 24/7 basis and our provision is around the clock.

Intensive support

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"The only self-referrals we accept are previous tenants whom we have a history of and an understanding of their needs. Midshires Supported Accommodation does not accept any service user that is high risk, has a history of sexual offences or arson.

"New residents receive intensive support in the first two months to ensure that all levels of support are provided and three-way multi-agency meetings are conducted so that there is a good level of support provided from all professionals involved.

"Service users do receive support to engage on courses and other training programmes to keep them proactive and to provide them with the skills and tools to ensure that they are able to manage their lives on a day to day basis."

Residents would include those who experience "persistent homelessness issues", "low to medium level mental health issues", and those who "have become estranged from family members, rendering them isolated".

If approved, the hostel would create six jobs, there would also be five car parking spaces and 10 cycle spaces.

The application will be considered in the coming months.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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