PLANS to clear up the status of a controversial hostel in Blackburn and upgrade its facilities have caused neighbours to protest.

They have written to Blackburn with Darwen Council urging its planning committee to refuse the application for Shadsworth House in Dunoon Drive to be officially classed as a homeless hostel.


Jay’s Properties, which owns two similar properties in the town centre, has promised major improvements.

The application will be considered by the borough planning committee on Thursday.

In 2003, Jay’s Properties, applied for permission to convert the building into a homeless hostel which was refused.

Since then, it has housed people suffering personal crisis including homelessness and addiction as a ‘house in multiple occupation’ The chair of Blackburn with Darwen Independent Tenants Association Jacqueline McGrew has written to the council on behalf of residents on the Shadsworth Estate saying they felt its use as a hostel is ‘highly inappropriate for the area’ .

Mrs McGrew claims ‘there have been incidents of drug dealing and of men exposing themselves to females and children’ involving ‘undesirable people living and their visitors hanging around’.

Eight local residents have written in support of Jay’s application as has the Maundy Relief Charity Accrington praising its work with the homeless and addicted.