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Hostel plan meets opposition

PUBLISHED: 12:32 22 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

ASYLUM seekers could be housed in a hostel in the middle of an Ipswich residential estate – despite furious opposition from families.

More than 200 residents have signed a petition against the plans for a hostel, on the corner of Bramford Road, but the scheme looks set to get the go-ahead.

ASYLUM seekers could be housed in a hostel in the middle of an Ipswich residential estate – despite furious opposition from families.

More than 200 residents have signed a petition against the plans for a hostel, on the corner of Bramford Road, but the scheme looks set to get the go-ahead.

Council officers have recommended the scheme, which would provide accommodation for ten asylum seekers, be given the go-ahead for a probationary period of two years.

The moves have met widespread opposition from families in the area and a petition was organised by Angelo and Rhona Ragucci, who live next to the proposed site in Beaconsfield Road.

Mr Ragucci, 41, stressed that opposition to the proposal is based on the fact that the area is unsuitable for a hostel of any kind – not a xenophobic reaction against asylum seekers.

"The area is full of first time buyers, families and children and we want the council to realise the impact it will have on residents down here, he said.

"The site is on a corner, there's no parking and it's just not a suitable for it. It hasn't got the facilities or the space."

The conversion of the former shop and private house would see it operate in tandem with a similar hostel at Wilbury House, in Norwich Road.

It would include four bedrooms, two lounges, three bathrooms, a kitchen and a staff room. It is also proposed to add a single storey extension to the rear of the building.

The premises, which would be staffed 24 hours a day, would include a CCTV system and entry would be controlled by a security card system.

Around 60 residents from the area attended a public meeting about the proposals last month. Representatives of Ipswich borough council and the applicants, Millennium Investments 2000, were in attendance to field questions about the proposal.

Two similar applications to change the use of the building have both failed, although the new application is on a smaller scale.

The fate of the latest proposal will be decided at a meeting of Ipswich borough council on April 23.

N What do you think about the proposed hostel? Is it in the right place? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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