Hove hotel owner to focus on housing the homeless

The owner of a Hove hotel wants to focus on housing rough sleepers because the premises are too far from the centre of Brighton to profit from tourists and the conference trade.

For the past two years, Elemel Community Interest Company (CIC) said that it had been providing short-term accommodation for the homeless at Adastral House, in Westbourne Villas.

Now the CIC has applied to Brighton and Hove City Council for a formal change of use from a hotel to a large house in multiple occupation (HMO), with 19 rooms.

Its application included a management plan for the site, known as the Coracle. The council already places people there.

The management plan said that the site was staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with 200 hours of support a week for residents.

Staff include a service manager, two deputies and three personal mentors as well as maintenance and night-time security staff.

Those placed there were 25 to 65 years old, with a local connection to Brighton and Hove, and were expected to be willing to take part in activities such as volunteering and work as well as “engage with community living”.

Elemel director Angelique Glata said that the building was not viable as a hotel because it was so far from the core hotel zone in Brighton.

Elemel said: “The hotel has been loss-making for more than seven years and the current use is therefore no longer financially viable.

“The proposed flats would exceed the minimum floor space standards set out in the Technical Housing Standards and House in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Standards.

“The change of use would result in the removal of hotel signage and other paraphernalia in front of the building, thereby improving the character and appearance of the Sackville Gardens Conservation Area.”

But 10 neighbours have written to the council to the plans, many concerned about management at the site.

One, whose details were redacted by the council on its website, said: “When the hotel was bought a few years ago, the new owners were adamant that the guest house would be staffed 24/7.

“There would also be support and supervision for all the residents. The staff have been brilliant at liaising with the community around them and ensuring that all our concerns were listened to and acted on.

“I am concerned that if this application is approved, there will be no 24-hour support for the residents, and particularly no one living in the premises as they will be converting the office into accommodation.”

Adastral House

Another neighbour wrote: “While I appreciate the need to support local homeless and vulnerable residents, the road is already saturated with a concentration of either HMO dwellings or bedsits.

“The hotel is currently providing accommodation for the homeless. There is 24-hour staff provision in place to provide security with mentoring and support, which suggests that the residents need this.

“The proposal to turn the building into 20 HMO bedsits could mean that these very same residents are potentially left without the supervision they clearly require.

“I am extremely concerned as to the negative impact this could have on both parties (HMO residents and neighbours).”

Sussex Police supported the planning application and said that it had no major concerns.

  1. Daniel Harris Reply

    Google “Angelique Glata Tottenham”
    http://save399.org/images/the-problem-with-tchances-oct17.pdf

    This is a massive concern, i will be reporting to Local Government Ombudsman if this HMO Licence is agreed as a former resident when she managed Percival Terrace Hostel, I saw her revenge evict an 18 year old care leaver. Months later he was dead.

    She should be given no contracts in this city.

    This is not a hotel and the claims of support and activities are complete bull!

    Do not let any homeless person near her or there will be more blood on BHCC’s Hands

    • Hoveactually Reply

      hello Daniel,

      Thank you for this comment.
      We are local residents and very worried about this now, having read your comments and those of others on this string.
      Unfortunately once planning approval is given it cannot be reversed, even by the Local Government Ombudsman. The application goes to the Planning Committee on Wednesday with a recommendation by the Planning Officer to approve the application. If it passes, and I think it will, there is nothing further that can be done – unless you have more knowledge about this than I do, and I’m not an expert.
      Any suggestions by anybody, including legal , would be very welcome.

  2. Robert Thurlow Reply

    As a former resident of the Coracle. I wasted 19months of my life living in this establishment. The Director of Elemel Mrs Glata is a consummate con artist with respect to the amount of monies that she receives from the council, for providing a so called service.

    Having been a support worker, and worked with vulnerable clients before becoming homeless myself. I was horrified at the running of this establishment.

    There were no professional standards. Staff that did want to make a change and genuinely had residents welfare at heart were bullied by Mrs Glata and ultimately were either fired or left. This project is the personal fiefdom of Mrs Glata, she brokers no criticism of the Coracle or Elemel CIC, this is the diktat that the staff have to work by. In the time I was at the Coracle we had two BHCC Commissioning Resident Surveys (Or you could meet with the Commissioning Officer, Craig Cotton) Residents that spoke out or made adverse comments on the running of the Coracle were made to feel extremely uncomfortable by staff and Mrs Glata. If residents dared to criticise the running of the Coracle they were threatened with either being placed in much worse hostels (And there are are, I.e. places like Percival Terrace) or ultimately being made homeless and ending up back on the streets.

    These were staff that actually had professional standards. I have a very revealing recorded interview that Mrs Glata had with one of the residents. Furthermore this was was not recorded covertly and Mrs Glata was aware of this. She is challenged about lack of professional standards by staff? Her arrogant and complacent reply being “If you want professional standards then you are in the wrong place”

    Considering that the Coracle receives substantial BHCC funding the council is not getting value for money. In the time that I wasted there there were very few positive outcomes in terms of getting residents housed in their own flats or more suitable accommodation. Only one resident became housed, that was by her own efforts. Others suffered the indignity of retrograde placements in far worse places or ended up back on the streets.

    In the end I was so fed up with what I can only describe as a “regime” of indifference to clients needs, and a volatile and dangerous atmosphere from other residents and indifference from staff to peoples needs. I decided to go back on the streets until I could find somewhere more suitable for my needs. I was fortunate that I am now with Safehaven Sussex.

    In conclusion I would be very worried and the local community should be worried at having a house of Multiple Occupation in their midst that has no staff with the volatile nature of the client base, and Mrs Glata’s rapacious greed and cavalier attitude.

    • Daniel Harris Reply

      Thanks for speaking out. Hope others do!

      • Robert Thurlow Reply

        Thanks Daniel, its the least I could do.

        I’m not totally anti-Coracle. With the right management and also client input it is a place whereby people could flourish and attain goals and stability.

        At present it’s a badly failing and just “Whare-houses” homeless people to make a fat profit for the directors. It started out with the best of intentions no doubt but when I was there over the 19 months I watched the rot set in. On the whole residents that need higher levels of support do not get it (Bear in mind its for clients needing Low to Medium support) There was also a serious drug problem in the house as well. Class A drugs being available such as Crack Cocaine, bearing in mind you’ve got people there that had serious mental health issues that were using. Very febrile atmosphere!

        I don’t understand the lack of concern from Sussex Police either because they were often in attendance at the house (It’s not a Hotel) as were ambulances as well.

  3. Hove Guy Reply

    Was Mrs Glata asware that Class A drugs were available there? If so, surely she should be questioned by the police about it. We are constantly being told that the police are making a crackdown (forgive the pun) on drugs and their dealers in the city. So why is this allowed to happen in a place for the homeless?

    • Robert Thurlow Reply

      That’s a really good question, they can’t say that they were unaware of the drug problem because I highlighted it with the first commissioning visit, and I highlighted it in the commissioning questionaire.

      Problem being that the project was run by a very weak and inexperienced manager and a her deputy. Who I believe were fired after the last commissioningg visit back in October/November. Not too sure when because I was no longer a resident then. The problem with Mrs Glata is she only hears what she wants to hear. It’s all very Alice in Wonderland, “when I say a word it means what I want it to mean”

      But to answer, she must have been aware of the concerns because after the Commissioning Officer has seen residents he does a debrief of concerns with the management. I know that there was a huge shouting match in the office after he left and it was Mrs Glata doing her usual berating and belittling staff! Hope that answers your concern.

  4. J burns Reply

    My condolences to the people of this street, having lived next door to one of these places on Seafield Road ‘managed’ by Hartman Homes, I can confirm it’s pretty awful. Place was open to criminals selling drugs and used as a brothel, security were reluctant to turn up when called, everyone hated it. Least the landlord pockets some cash though eh

  5. Kelly Colman Reply

    The author of this article is quite wrong about the police having no problem with this change from hotel to HMO. The police report on the Council planning website is very firm about the requirements which are designed to prevent crime. The Council conditions do not meet the police requirements and they will not support the plan, as it says in the report. The operators of this HMO receive public monies from the Council ie our taxes. Why is there not more control?

  6. Kelly Colman Reply

    Contrary to what Sarah Booker-Lewis says, the police very much have NOT given approval for this HMO. Look at the police report on the Council planning website.

  7. Hovelassies Reply

    The HMO hostels that house the homeless MUST be supervised full time with very strict rules and boundaries that are robustly enforced. Otherwise, the fallout and damage to the wider community is extensive. Look at the disaster that was the West Pier Project in Regency Square that BHCC tried to relocate twice and was met with very vigorous objections from the communities that were going to be impacted. Eventually the council realised that this model of housing homeless is broken. It does not work. No-one benefits. Look at the number of deaths of relatively young people in so-called “temporary emergency” accommodation HMO hostels in Central Hove over the years. The coroner refuses to join the dot – the numbers speak for themselves. BHCC paid Hartman Homes over £100,000 per year for grubby, shabby, spiled, chipped, tired, unmodernized accommodation and failed to address any of the problems the Hartman Homes hostels caused. BHCC will give the local neighbourhood reassurances and then refuse to act decisively when problems occur. Despite years and years and years of strife from some existing unsupervised HMO homeless hostels BHCC has NEVER rescinded a licence or imposed or enforced any conduct conditions. People in the neighbourhood are met with shoulder shrugging indifference and excuses beyond belief as to why the council will not act to the benefit of the wider community. Do not trust this council one inch, when ti comes to serving the interests of the wider community. The neighbours should arrange a meeting with the council at once.

  8. Hoveactually Reply

    Thank you all for this input.
    We are horrified, and at a loss as to who to contact before this application is approved on Wednesday. Does anyone know who to speak to in the Council?
    We are wondering how the people in Regency Square managed to get this stopped.

  9. Hovelassies Reply

    Contact your councilors and convene an emergency Zoom meeting with the councilors + Liz Hobden (Head of Planning), Robert Persey (Head of Adult Social Care), Peter Wileman (Community Safety), Geoff Raw (CEO), Phelim McCafferty (Head of council), Police. Galvanize your neighbors to make sure as many take part as possible. Get them ALL to email each of these people with their concerns. This council cannot be trusted to serve the wider interests of the community and do not walk the talk. The indifference this council has to the people in the community who suffer from the never-ending fallout from these badly managed hostels (known to be a broken model) is lamentable. The council readily and willfully turns a blind eye to beaches of Planning laws, HMO license requirements and COVID mitigation laws an allows these hostel to trade and act as las unto themselves. There are many people in central Hove who can attest to this based on experience in living next to such “hostels”.

  10. Daniel Harris Reply

    I suggest people put in more objections. Particularly service users!

    Do an FOI on Angelique’s emails with officers, am sure will bring up a few question. Officers are always in the pockets of bad landlords like Angelique. She claims to be a socialist, but as i said she is a professional lobbyist and is in with some very dubious characters.

    Planning councillors can object and go against officer recommendations?

    Neighbours lobby your local councillors also

    If anyone wants to contact me my email is daniel@survivorblog.co.uk

  11. Aram Papikyan Reply

    He won’t have any problem filling the rooms!

  12. Jane hammond Reply

    Really sketchy how the headline implies that this is an altruistic act, she isn’t helping out the homeless, she knows you can get more money from the council than you would if the building was just let out as flats.

    Take the funding and drop people in substandard accommodation while the community and the people in the building suffer. This is what always happens. The Council needs to look into creating rehab style housing outside the city in order to actually help these people. This is all about profit for this lady and some dodgy councillors.

    Do what you can to kick up a fuss!

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