Controversial Milton Keynes young people’s hostel gets permission to keep running

editorial image

A young people’s hostel has been given permission to continue operating despite concerns raised over crime by neighbouring residents.

The St Mungo’s hostel, in St George’s Road, Bletchley, provides supported living accommodation for young people aged 16 to 21.

A retrospective planning application was heard at Milton Keynes Council’s development control committee last night which sought to change the use of the building from a local authority children’s home to supported living accommodation for young people.

Since July 2012, the property has been leased to and managed on behalf of the council by St Mungpo’s.

Despite concerns raised by residents who cited frequent attendance by police officers and noisy disturbances at the property, the application was approved for a temporary period with an additional management plan to be agreed.

Objections were submitted by six residents and West Bletchley Council.

A report to councillors by case officer Debbie Kirk, said: “It is clear that this is not a popular application and has raised the fear of crime for some local residents.”

Complaints by residents highlighted in the report, stated: “The police are at the premises a minimum of five times a week, sometimes two or three times a day.”

The residents at the St Mungo’s property come from a variety of backgrounds. Some will be leaving local authority care and some will have been made homeless as a result of family breakdown or other personal crisis.

The report states: “What they all have in common is that they are vulnerable due to their young age, lack the necessary life skills to live independently yet, have struggled to get and keep a job or educational opportunities and need support to address these issues so that they can go on to live successful independent lives.”