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Temporary accommodation for ‘vulnerable’ families could be built in a town

PUBLISHED: 13:41 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:41 13 March 2020

Breckland Council is currently developing plans to convert the disused community building on Elm Road, in Thetford, to provide short term temporary accommodation for families and individuals. Photo: Breckland Council

Breckland Council is currently developing plans to convert the disused community building on Elm Road, in Thetford, to provide short term temporary accommodation for families and individuals. Photo: Breckland Council

Breckland Council

Temporary accommodation for “vulnerable” families who have found themselves without a home could be built in a town.

Breckland Council is currently developing plans to convert the disused community building on Elm Road, in Thetford, to provide short term temporary accommodation for families and individuals. Photo: Breckland CouncilBreckland Council is currently developing plans to convert the disused community building on Elm Road, in Thetford, to provide short term temporary accommodation for families and individuals. Photo: Breckland Council

A disused community building in Thetford could be turned into short-term accommodation to provide a 'safe and welcoming environment' for families or individuals to stay while they are waiting for a permanent home.

Elm Road Day Centre, on Elm Road, has been left empty since 2012 and over the years it has suffered significant vandalism which has left the building in a 'poor and dilapidated' condition.

But now a planning application, submitted by Breckland Council, has revealed plans to refurbish the building into three self-contained flats and a house in multiple occupation (HMO), for those who need it most.

A Breckland Council spokesman said: 'Breckland Council is currently developing plans to convert the disused community building on Elm Road, in Thetford, to provide short term temporary accommodation for families and individuals.

Breckland Council. Picture: Ian BurtBreckland Council. Picture: Ian Burt

''This will enable the council to provide a safe, stable and welcoming environment for some of the district's vulnerable families and households, while also reducing the council's reliance on more expensive bed and breakfast accommodation.

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'Having now been given planning permission to go ahead with the conversion of the empty building, the council is now further developing its plans and before a final decision is made on the project.'

In the planning documents it stated that the accommodation would be aimed at 'eligible households who are currently homeless and whose needs are not met by the current housing market'.

The three self-contained flats would include their own kitchen and bathroom and the HMO would provide a combination of double and single beds in individual rooms.

Mark Webster, countryside and planning officer at Thetford Town Council, said on Breckland's planning portal: 'Thetford Town Council recognises the importance of responding to this difficult issue and fully supports this application.'

The property will be fully managed by Breckland or an appointed company. But the council said it would look to reduce the effect on neighbouring residents and provide a phone number and email to report any issues.

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