Homeless hotel plan hits stumbling block

The Charlotte Hotel.
The Charlotte Hotel.

Plans to turn a town centre hotel into a homeless centre for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts have hit a stumbling block.

Wakefield Council bosses deferred an application to revamp The Charlotte Hotel in Castleford after hearing the applicants had signed a form claiming they owned the building.

In explaining why the applicants had not consulted with the community over plans to house up to 30 men at the Station Road site, a representative for the developers revealed how they do not currently own the site.

She told the planning committee today (Thursday): “At this stage it was decided not to consult with wider groups. The hotel hasn’t been purchased, it’s subject to the planning application.

“It was a case of getting that first then doing our research.”

The declaration caused planning chiefs to question why the applicant had submitted paperwork to the department which stated they owned the premises.

Coun Alan Garbutt, chairman of the meeting, said: “You’ve just said you’ve not purchased the building, but there’s a certificate here that says you have purchased it.”

The representative said it was an “error” and Coun Garbutt called a short adjournment to discuss the case.

Reconvening, he told the committee: “There seems to have been an administration error and we ask to defer this matter.”

A spokesman for Wakefield Council said the application is now invalid and the applicants will have to resubmit their proposals.

See next week’s Express for more.