Little Hayes in Lyndhurst to house people with mental health issues
A CHARITY has received planning permission to turn a Hampshire B&B into a home for ‘vulnerable’ adults with mental health issues.
An app by Hammersley Homes to convert Little Hayes to Romsey Road, Lyndhurst, triggered 60 objection letters from 46 area households.
But the proposal was approved at a meeting of the new forest National Parks Authority (NPA).
Louise Hallett, the charity’s founder, said the program would provide “safety, security and friendship” to five people who were struggling to cope with daily chores.
She said residents would be carefully selected, with round-the-clock support provided by trained staff.
Opponents included the leader of New Forest District Council, Cllr Edward Heron.
In a letter to the NPA, Cllr Heron said the tourist facilities were vital to the local economy, adding: ‘Insufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate that the current use of the property is unsustainable.’
One of the other opponents, Lyndhurst resident Gill Jones, claimed the project would cause increased noise, traffic and general disruption.
But NPA member David Harrison said: “Mental illness is very common. Facilities like this are to be welcomed. They rarely cause problems.”
Ann Sevier added: ‘The New Forest is not just a place people come to vacation.
A report to the committee said the five-bedroom guesthouse was “not currently operational”.
He added: “While the initial closure can be directly attributed to Covid restrictions, the trend over the last two years has been towards Airbnb accommodation rather than shared facilities.
“There are, for example, about 170 Airbnb units in Lyndhurst.
“In these circumstances, and given the small size of the guest house, it is not considered that it would be possible to support an objection to the change of assignment.
“There is a significant level of objection to the proposal from local residents for a variety of reasons.
“It is not considered that the proposed use would result in a higher level of traffic than the guest house. Residents are unlikely to have cars and the proposal would therefore result in less traffic movement.”
The request was approved by a vote of seven to two.
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