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Islington councillor campaigns against homeless charity Shelter from the Storm moving to Upper Holloway

PUBLISHED: 10:07 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:27 06 July 2018

Cllr Marian Spall, pictured in 2016, last night presented a petition against Shelter from the Storm's planned move to Upper Holloway. Picture: Dieter Perry

Cllr Marian Spall, pictured in 2016, last night presented a petition against Shelter from the Storm's planned move to Upper Holloway. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

An Islington councillor last night called for the town hall to stop a homeless shelter opening in Upper Holloway.

Shelter from the Storm wants to move to Upper Holloway. Picture: Shelter from the StormShelter from the Storm wants to move to Upper Holloway. Picture: Shelter from the Storm

Cllr Marian Spall (Lab, Hillrise) said guests could cause a “nuisance” to neighbours in residential properties.

At a full council meeting, Cllr Spall presented a 300-signature petition from people on the Elthorne Estate against Shelter from the Storm’s plans.

As revealed by the Gazette last month, Shelter from the Storm needs to move as the lease on its current premises off Caledonian Road will soon be up.

It has applied for planning permission to convert an Upper Holloway supermarket into a shelter, community cafe and small retail unit. The Gazette has chosen not to share the exact location, respecting Shelter from the Storm’s policy not to make its address public.

In her speech at the town hall last night, Cllr Spall said that because the building would be in use 24 hours a day, it could cause “noise, disturbance and nuisance to neighbours of residential properties, as this area is highly populated”.

She continued: “The proposed property use as a night shelter is also not compatible in a densely populated residential area with many elderly people and families with young children.

“It is also noted that Shelter from the Storm has a London-wide focus, hence the night shelter residents will not necessarily be Islington-based.

“As residents, we support housing homeless people as a clear majority are law abiding people who have fallen on hard times. However, the residents also note that most night shelters are in a central location, which is a more suitable location such as this.

“The residents are calling on the council to reject the planning application made by Shelter from the Storm.”

Her speech received awkward and stunted applause.

Cllr Spall’s colleague, Cllr Paul Convery (Lab, Caledonian), has previously described Shelter from the Storm as “one of the most remarkable charities I’ve known”.

Sheila Scott, Shelter from the Storm co-founder, had told the Gazette last month: “There is possibly going to be a little bit of anxiety among local people, but we would be very keen to talk to them if that’s the case.”

Islington Council has yet to set a date to decide the application.

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