Exeter hotel owner submits plan to open hostel

A woman in Exeter wants to convert her hotel into a hostel to temporarily house vulnerable people.

Red House owner Angela Gillard has applied for planning permission to turn the hotel into supported accommodation.

If approved, potential residents could range from teenagers who had moved out of home to unemployed people who had and fallen on hard times, she said.

However, some locals are concerned about about the plan and have set up an internet campaign against the idea.

'Right to refuse'

Ms Gillard said she was proposing the change because she could no longer make the two-star, 12-room hotel in Whipton pay its way.

Ms Gillard, who said she had worked on similar projects previously, said: "I just feel we'd like to help people."

She added: "We will monitor and everyone who comes in will be risk assessed.

"We have the right to refuse people if we think they are not right for the area.

"I live in the area and I'm not concerned."

However, other local residents said it was not the right location for such a project.

Linda Smith, who lives nearby, said: "Not in the middle of the residential area, where residents have to walk past it and may feel intimidated.

"They don't know who they [in the hostel] are and they don't know why they're there."

Exeter City Council said any planning application was considered on its own individual merits.

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