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20/0194/ECC | Amendment to reference 18/1031/ECC to include all year round Night Shelter and Community Facility (Sui Generis) for homeless people. | The Night Shelter Magdalen Street Exeter Devon EX2 4HZ
  • Total Consulted: 47
  • Comments Received: 3
  • Objections: 2
  • Supporting: 0

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Mr Neil Page (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 12 Mar 2020

We write to object to the above planning application on the grounds set out below.

Our concerns relate to the noise, disturbance and nuisance to the occupants both of local residential properties, the Hotel du Vin and the Mercure Hotel, as this is a highly populated area.

Residents are located only 10 metres from the application site in both Victory House, and on Good Shepherd Drive. Guests of the Hotel du Vin stay in bedrooms which overlook the application property and are within 20m of the application site; this use is not compatible with a densely populated and desirable residential area and hotels.

The building has a lack of outside provision, and occupants congregate outside hours before the facility opens, posing noise and disturbance issues to nearby residents and hotel guests. Users of the adjacent car park have to pass by clients waiting to enter the shelter, this particularly affects hotel guests and visitors.
We experience disturbances outside on a regular basis with clients of the shelter shouting and swearing and even more concerning wandering out into the road into the path of the traffic. Litter is frequently left all around the front of the building. This is a very busy road at all times. Emergency services are called to the facility on a fairly regular basis. The nuisance also extends to inadequate window coverings such that we can see everything going on in the bathroom and the outside lights cause far more light pollution than the street lights.

We do of course support the principle of a proposal to help the homeless, but consider that this building has proved not to be an appropriate location given the above concerns. These concerns would be exacerbated in the summer months when the lighter evenings will encourage even more congregating outside of the facility increasing all the attendant nuisance. Local residents will also be outside and be subjected to far more noise and disturbance. The facility is more important in the winter months and we have tolerated the nuisance over the past months recognising the need that this has partially met. There is no apparent benefit having been gained given the increasing numbers begging on the city's streets. A coherent local plan for the homeless is desperately needed. The thousands of visitors to Exeter who stay at both the Hotel du Vin and Mercure Hotel get a very unfavourable introduction to our City.

In light of the above we respectfully request that this application is refused, to ensure that the amenity of local residents and hotel guests are protected and that Exeter is seen in a much better light by visitors to our City.

Should you be minded to recommend that the application be supported, we consider that any planning permission should be conditioned in order to reduce any potential impact, such as

o restricting noise levels
o requiring a management plan to ensure staff of the facility seek to avoid occupants congregating outside of the property
o installing of a recording CCTV system both outside and inside the property
o installing adequate window treatments to ensure that internal activity is not visible from outside
o prohibiting use of the terrace on the 1st floor
o disabling the excessive lighting over the outside terrace

Yours sincerely
Neil Page

Ms Nuala O'Farrell (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 12 Mar 2020

I wish to object to the proposal to make the Winter Night Shelter all year round.

Under current planning conditions (whilst the night shelter is open over winter) there is a lot of noise and many public disturbances each week/month; with public intoxication, loud arguments, bad language and emergency services regularly on site. These disturbances can be heard through closed windows and shutters/curtains. However the impact, whilst noticeable, is reduced - as local residents spend most of their time inside during winter.

To extend the night shelter to all year round will have huge impact on local residents enjoying their homes and outside spaces during the rest of the year. The outside areas of Victory House all overlook Magdalen Street, and are opposite the Shelter. Staff at the shelter have failed to prevent the noise and public disturbances that happen over the winter months, and these issues will be magnified through the spring/summer months - with open doors and windows, and residents trying to use their outside spaces.

An all year round night shelter is a completely different proposition to a winter night shelter - particularly in a residential area. To extend the noise and public disturbance throughout the rest of the year is an unfair burden on neighbouring residents, and the emergency services.

Please note my objections to the planning proposal.

Yours faithfully

an Idox solution