News | Emily Gill - Local Democracy Reporting Service | Published: 09:23, Friday November 29th, 2019.
Last updated: 11:05, Friday November 29th, 2019
Two pods for homeless people in Caerphilly could be put in the grounds of St Helens Roman Catholic Church.
A planning application has been lodged by Caerphilly Borough Churches Night Shelter to change land within the grounds of the church to a mixed use.
The mixed use would allow the temporary sitting of the two homeless pods for five years.
The pods would be provided by Amazing Grace Spaces, a volunteering project which provides accommodation and emergency shelters for those in need.
A supporting statement for the application says: “The pods are proposed to provide temporary or emergency accommodation for homeless people while more permanent accommodation is being organised, allowing a transition from rough sleeping to more permanent accommodation, integrating them back into society.”
The pods would be available to people referred by housing.
If available, the pods could be used as emergency accommodation for the homeless who may turn up at the parish door requiring assistance.
The pods would be secured by an electronic door lock.
Each pod would consist of a single bed, cassette toilet unit and a double-glazed window. Electricity to each unit is via a shared solar panel, providing lighting and phone charger facility.
The supporting statement says: “It is recommended that pods are sited in pairs, in an area where solar panels can charge.
“This arrangement allows for occupiers to have the comfort and security of having someone else close by, but still maintain their own privacy and space.”
Amazing Grace Spaces have already trialled the pods in Newport during spring.
A leaflet for the project says that in the thirteen-week trial in Newport they saved six people from a life on the streets.
A decision on this application will be made by Caerphilly County Borough Council in the coming months.
Morgan Jones ward councillor Shayne Cook said: “We have recently witnessed some horrendous actions towards the homeless residents of Caerphilly.
“These pods will provide a safe sanctuary for those in the greatest need and a stepping stone to more permanent accommodation.”