Our Lady and St Edward’s Catholic Church

St Ann’s residents oppose plans for turning friary into homeless housing near three Nottingham schools.

Emmanuel Housing, a support charity,  want to change The Old Friary, on Gordon Road in St Ann’s, into a seven bed accommodation for vulnerable adults.

Even if the occupants had previously used drugs or alcohol, they would only be able to live there if they had stopped and received help from support  networks.

The friary is located next to Our Lady & St Edward Primary & Nursery Catholic Voluntary School and close to both Blue Bell Hill Primary School and Rosehill School. Parents are voicing worries about their children’s well-being and have submitted a petition with 215 signatures objecting the plans.

“I have real concerns”

jADE mITCHELL, PARENT

However, a petition backing the plan put forward by the parish priest for the Our Lady and St Edward Church has been signed by 294 individuals that support the accommodation.

Sarah Williams is a parent and resident in the area.

Jade Mitchell, 36, is also a parent of two and has helped collect signatures for the petition against the plans.

She said: “I do not have a problem with helping out the homeless at all I truly think this is the wrong location for them that’s all”

Jade Mitchell, 36, helping to collect signatures against the plans. ©Jade Mitchell

“My children attend the school that is on the same grounds that will lead to the back garden of the place. I have real concerns, I feel the safety of my children is not enough with a three meter fence they have put up.”

Emmanuel Housing have reassured residents by saying that it will have staff located in them 24/7, helping residents access housing, benefits, work, and other services, and that the occupiers would have low level needs.

The planning documents stated: “The proposed residential environment for occupiers is satisfactory, particularly as the building was designed to provide residential accommodation.

“Whilst it is noted that the site is close to the social club there is no evidence that the location is directly inappropriate in this regard.”

Mrs Byrne, the headteacher of the Our Lady and St Edward Catholic School, provided a statement saying “concerns have been taken into account and the work of the applicant Emmanuel House is in line with the school’s values.”

Homelessness in the East Midlands in 2023

  • Had the biggest annual increase of 33%, from 5,900 people to almost 7,900 people.
  • 1,350 people slept on the streets of Nottingham
  • 7,703 people were helped by specialist drug, alcohol and mental health services
  • 2,255 people were helped by education, training, volunteering and employment services.

Source: Framework Housing Association

The plans will be discussed at a Nottingham City Council Planning Committee meeting on February 21 and have been recommended for approval.