Opposing hostel plans for Hove seafront

A CHARITY faces opposition to its plan to convert a hotel into a 50-room hostel.

Homelessness charity St Mungo’s has submitted a retrospective planning application for the Smart Sea View Hostel, in St Catherine’s Terrace, Hove.

He has been operating the hotel as temporary accommodation since the beginning of October last year.

In its management plan, St Mungo’s said the hostel was needed to implement Brighton and Hove City Council’s No Second Night Out scheme to reduce rough sleeping and move people to accommodation in the 42 days.

The plan stated: “The service strives to stabilize clients by ensuring that they feel safe and that their basic needs are met.

“Each client has an Assessment and Reconnection Agent assigned to case management who identifies an appropriate accommodation option for an individual…and makes appropriate referrals.”

St Mungo’s is also working with the council to provide a personal accommodation plan and support for people returning to their home areas, domestically or internationally, if they do not have a local connection to Brighton and Hove.

A temporary change of use to provide short-term accommodation for the homeless was approved for two years in 2002 and extended three times, with the site effectively operating as a homeless shelter until October 2007.

Another request for a temporary change of use—to use the Homeless Family Shelter—was denied in 2008.

Since then the site remained a hotel until St Mungo’s began using it for the No Second Night Out scheme last year.

Neighbors sent 46 letters of objection and two supporting the change of use.

One opponent, details of which are redacted on the council’s website, said: ‘The massive disruption caused to local residents by this hostel cannot be overstated.

“Our lives are becoming hell. It’s awful. How can council subject residents to this? Don’t we matter?

“I no longer leave my apartment alone after dark after experiencing abuse from residents and sexualized comments and approaches.”

A supportive comment from a person whose details have been redacted said: ‘If a community cannot provide a safe space and support for its vulnerable members, then it should feel ashamed.

“This proposal is the best chance to change people’s lives to avoid the anti-social behavior that so many people seem to fear.”

Another person’s comment raised concerns about the behavior, but she was not against the proposals.

Their comment, with details deleted, said: ‘I don’t oppose the app in principle. I have strong reservations.

“I have already noticed an increase in the number of people drinking in the garden attached to the building as well as several incidents where the police (and) ambulances had to go to help severely intoxicated people outside the building.”

To view the development application or to comment, visit the development pages on the council’s website and search for BH2022/00670.

Linda G. Ibarra