Concerns raised over homeless housing scheme next door to school
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Haringey Council has extended an informal consultation over plans to build a homeless hostel next door to a Wood Green school, after concerns were raised.
The Ham&High revealed last month that the council had earmarked a dilapidated site, outside Alexandra Palace railway station, for redevelopment after it became a hotspot for antisocial behaviour, including illegal lockdown parties and a violent assault.
The council has repossessed 141 Station Road, next to Heartlands High School, and wants to build 27 one-bedroom units for homeless people “at the end of their journey towards independence".
But Heartlands headteacher Elen Roberts said the school had raised several issues with the council.
They included “the placement of supported housing in such close proximity to the school”, and “the extent to which the proposed development would overlook the school playground”.
She said that the school supported efforts to help homeless people, but urged parents to make representations about the Station Road scheme.
“Although the consultation is closed, we would urge you to contact the team to share your thoughts, as we are aware many of you missed your opportunity to do so as the consultation ran in the summer holidays,” she wrote to parents on September 6.
The Ham&High was contacted by a member of a residents’ association, who said the engagement exercise was launched in August with a deadline of September 1, meaning “parents of children at the school are uninformed and will have no say in the matter”.
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“Despite the fact that many of us support the intention behind a homeless shelter, we in the majority find the choice of location – right next-door to Heartlands School, attended by 1,080 local children, and two parks where young children play – to be a dreadful move on Haringey Council’s part,” the source said, asking not to be named.
He said parents were concerned after reading of a similar scheme in Wales, where a homeless hostel built next to a school turned the area into “a haven for drug-taking and rough sleeping”.
Questioned by the Ham&High on September 7, Haringey Council said it had decided to extend the consultation until September 20, with an online meeting to be held on September 14.
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