A PLANNING application to turn a former Shaw pub into a hostel for homeless people which sparked controversy in the neighbourhood has been resubmitted after it was refused last month.

CarePoint HC - which specialises in residential care for people with learning difficulties, mental health and substance abuse - has halved the number of beds to nine from the original application of 18 at the former Weavers Answer pub in Milnrow Road.

As reported by The Oldham Times in January, nearby residents and local councillor Chris Gloster claimed the company had begun alterations on the old pub, before the planning application was submitted. This was later denied by the company.

Following objections from residents backed by Cllr Gloster, the application was refused by planning officers, but now another application has been tabled applying for a change of use from a public house to "supported accommodation".

The new application which was validated by Oldham Council's planning department on February 9 was under discussion at last night's (Tuesday, February 23) Shaw Parish Council meeting.

Cllr Gloster said that the applicants appeared to have "addressed the concerns raised by planning officers in the initial refusal".

But he pointedly said that in the new application, there was no mention of the old pub being used as a hostel for the homeless.

One comment posted on the council's planning portal said: "I'm objecting to this, which is a revised version of a previous application which was rejected.

"The previous application was for 'emergency accommodation'. This revised proposal is for 'supported' accommodation.

"Local residents in the area remain concerned about who the occupants will be as CarePoint have displayed a lack of transparency throughout the process.

"CarePoint staff verbally assured a local resident that no occupants would have substance abuse issues. However, they promised written confirmation of this which did not materialise, and seems to contradict the nature of their business displayed on their website.

"Local residents are fearful that substance abusers or ex offenders will be housed in the development.

"The revised plans state their will be full time staff on site. Whilst an encouraging development from the original plans, no account of parking needs in an already congested area seem to have been taken into consideration.

"The previous rejection acknowledged the concerns of local rescue over potential anti-social behaviour but dismissed these as it was claimed there was no evidence of this.

"To this point I would state that there has been a recent increase in similar HMO (houses of multiple occupation) developments in this area which has coincided with an increase in local crime and antisocial behaviour.

"Residents who live close to a homeless shelter on Spring Street in Oldham are plagued by anti-social behaviour; the property is frequented by police.

"Therefore evidence of similar developments illustrates a trend that we do not want to bring to an area in such close proximity to primary schools and childcare facilities."