Victory! 304 of you stop 'homeless' flats being built in Stoke-on-Trent street

Hundreds of residents have blocked plans for a three-storey flats complex. They feared the proposed development - on Clarence Street, in Fenton - would trigger an increase in anti-social behaviour and drug-taking, cause parking issues, lower house prices, and impact on the nearby Fenton Park.

Dawn Property Group wants to build the six one-bedroom flats on derelict land next to The Grocott Centre. The development - 'for homeless and vulnerable adults' - would have been run by housing association Concrete and seemingly become an extension of The Grocott Centre.

But planners at Stoke-on-Trent City Council have rejected the scheme. Their planning report states: "The contrived design, siting, scale and context within the surrounding area raise significant detrimental concerns for visual amenity, residential amenity and waste management and are considered to comprise overdevelopment of the application site."

Objectors submitted a 304-name petition against the proposed scheme after arguing against any expansion of The Grocott Centre site. They say anti-social behaviour has been increasing across Victoria Road, Clarence Street and Adrian Street as well as at Fenton Park.

Next-door neighbour Courtney Norman said: "This has become a horrible street to live on. We are constantly having to tell people who live in The Grocott Centre to move away from our doorstep because they sit on it and do drugs there."

Neighbour Dan Emery said: "The entire neighbourhood now feels unsafe with drugs. The development has the potential to cause further negative impact on the community."

Lyn Sharpe, of Crawfurd Street, said: "The site is very close to the children's play area at Fenton Park and I have observed adults taking drugs and defecating in this area. Local families are not comfortable letting children play there. Local shops are experiencing increased incidences of shoplifting."

Waqas Arif, of Victoria Place, added: "We don't want no dustheads living around here."

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