CONTROVERSIAL plans for a glass-walled homeless hostel in Darwen have been given the go-ahead.

The £2.3million 30-bed apartment development is designed to replace the "outdated" Police Street hostel in the town.

Twin Valley Homes asked Blackburn with Daren Council for permission to build the hostel on an unused triangle of land between James Street and Bury Street.

Plans were approved but Twin Valley Homes was told the design would have to be amended to be more sympathetic to the surrounding buildings.

Today the news was met with anger by a business woman who had campaigned against the building.

Protesters said the building would be too modern, create parking problems and would not fit into its surroundings.

Liz McKeown, 36, of Sunnymere Drive, who owns Tagg Wallcoverings, Wood Street, said: "We don't know who will end up living in it. I would like to see how the crime rate goes up in five years."

The plans include two accommodation blocks, three-storeys high.

Twin Valley Homes runs the Police Street hostel, made up of a unit for single people and a families project.

But it was decided to replace the singles accommodation after the council was promised £2.3million of govern-ment funding through the Hostels Capital Improve-ment Programme.

The modern design featured mainly glass walls.

Coun Andy Kay, executive member of regeneration, said: "We are minded to approve with a more sensitive design to make it more in keeping with the surrounding buildings."

Adam Scott director of regeneration, housing and neighbourhoods told councillors: "The develop-ment is on the edge of a conservation area but that should not rule out a contemporary solution."