Plans to convert Hartlepool's Melbourne House hotel into a supportive living centre for young adults

Plans have been lodged to convert a hotel in Hartlepool into a supported living and learning centre for young adults.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Monday, 9th September 2019, 12:32 pm
The Melbourne House Hotel

Proposals have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council planning department to convert Melbourne Hotel in Stockton Road into the facility for young people.

The application, from Families First North East, states they are in discussions to purchase the site which is currently a nine-bedroom bed and breakfast.

The plan is to reduce the occupancy down to six full time residents and provide two overnight/emergency respite places.

A planning statement on behalf of the applicant said the property would be reserved ‘for the most vulnerable young people in our society’.

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It said: “We believe that in designing this space in this way, we are potentially creating a model that could be replicated across the country.

“Establishing a meaningful and sustainable way to support young people with special needs to both be protected but also to contribute to their homes and their communities.

“This property will be reserved for the most vulnerable young people in our society.”

The main client group would be aged between 18-25, with some scope to support those under the age of 18 on an overnight/short stay basis.

Plans state the move would create eight full-time jobs and 12 part-time roles, and the facility would be staffed 24 hours a day with a minimum of two staff on site.

The applicant also stressed the facility would be to support young people with additional needs, and not those with addictions to drugs and alcohol.

They said: “We would wish to point out that this property would only be used to support young people with additional needs such as learning disabilities, mild-moderate autism, physical disabilities and social issues.

“It is not the intention to support those with more complex issues such as addictive behaviours (alcohol / drugs), criminal histories and antisocial behaviour.”

To date two notices of objections have been submitted to the council over the plans, raising concerns over issues such as parking difficulties and the size of the rooms.

One nearby resident said: “There is not enough information on who will be using this service.

“People already park in the back street, this at times has happened and blocked my back gate which is a fire exit and also prevents me putting bins out.”

A submission of support to the plans has also been sent to the council from the current tenant of Melbourne Hotel.

He said: “I support the application fully. The premises will no longer require a licence to sell alcohol, which previously was objected to.

“In addition currently the back lane alley gates remain open due to the hotel requiring 24 hours access to it’s car park for its guests coming and going.

“This will no longer be the case after the change of use.”