Neighbours reject plan for Boyd St homeless centre
TWEED Head residents living close to a proposed homeless respite centre on Boyd St told councillors loud and clear on Tuesday night that it was not wanted.
Three Boyd St residents protested to the council last night at a Tweed Shire Council community access meeting.
Ruth Wallace lived next door to the development.
Ms Wallace said throughout the process the name had changed from "homeless drop-in centre" to "respite centre".
"The words respite centre and drop-in centre has been mixed," Ms Wallace said.
"I fear for my wellbeing living close to a drop-in centre."
Ms Wallace said residents were scared and some close to the site were not informed of the proposed development.
Councillor Gary Bagnall said he was concerned that residents were not informed and had asked the proponents to revisit residents.
"Not everyone in the area was informed," he said.
St Vincent de Paul wants to establish the centre.
The charity's representative at the public access meeting Angus Whitherby said the proponents were aware that the development had created concerns.
"In no way do I want to trivialize those concerns but many of the concerns raised by people are unfounded," Mr Whitherby said.
"(The location) does provide a residential-style building. It is home-like not shop-like and that's important."
Mr Whitherby said management of the centre would be based on experience with homeless centres and professionalism.
"Incidences do occur just like neighbours having parties and they are quickly addresses," he said.
Mr Whiterby said while neighbours were not "revisited" in the last few months the charity canvassed 30 to 50 units in April to speak with neighbours.
Ms Wallace delivered a petition with 184 signatures to Mayor Barry Longland protesting against the development.