Council ‘will not refer’ users to proposed Glasgow homeless hostel

Glasgow City CouncilThe developer behind plans to turn a former pub into a homeless hostel has insisted it will carry on with the project after Glasgow City Council revealed it would not refer people to the service.

It is understood Dundas Heritable Ltd was hoping the local authority would provide placements at the proposed redevelopment of McNeill’s in Torrisdale Street.

However, the Evening Times reports that the council’s social work department has no plans to work with the firm.

The two-storey venue will house nine people if the council gives the plans the green light.

A council spokesman said: “The homelessness service has not been involved in commissioning this development and will not be referring people to the premises should planning permission be granted.”

More than 100 people attended a recent meeting in Queen’s Park Parish Church which was organised by Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council to discuss the planning application.

Some years ago residents fought and won a bitter battle to shut down a notorious hostel known as the ‘Parkview Hotel’ in nearby Balvicar Street and many still have concerns about such facilities.

Chairman of Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council, Toni Tochel, said: “Local residents understand the wide variety of issues surrounding hostels of this kind due to similar hostels having been located in the area in the past and there is a view that, were this plan to go ahead, it would have a detrimental effect on efforts being made to improve the quality of life of local residents at this time.”

A spokesman for the applicant said they still hope to secure planning permission for a ‘supported housing development’ despite the council snub.

“We are currently at advanced negotiations with a long standing public housing provider and if planning permission is granted look forward to delivering first class housing and shelter to citizens of Glasgow who find themselves in need,” said the spokesman.

“We are not in discussions with local authorities from outside Glasgow and will not be seeking placements from outside our city.”

On the concerns of the local community, the applicant’s spokesman added: “We are more than happy to meet representatives of the community to discuss our innovative development proposal.”

The property was previously owned by Celtic legend Billy McNeill but it is understood that the Lisbon Lion captain offloaded the venue several years ago and has no financial interest in the hostel plan.

The deadline for comments on the application has been extended by the council until 5pm on August 10.

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