TRINITY Winchester has welcomed planning permission for its UnderOneRoof project to build an extension of 11 self-contained flats.

The £1.47million project will provide safe housing alongside Trinity’s support services to help people move on to independent living.

Winchester-based architects Hyphen have drawn up plans for the development which will include communal facilities and a therapy room at its base on Durngate.

With support from Winchester City Council and other county-wide stakeholders, the development will be financially sustainable, with running costs met through housing benefit and additional services.

The project is based on Housing First principles, a proven model of success evolving from Finland, the USA and Scotland.

Sue McKenna, Trinity chief executive, said: “It has long been Trinity’s ambition to provide homes for our clients, with a holistic approach, which will offer long-term benefits with life-changing outcomes. The UnderOneRoof project, when opened, will have an immediate impact of reducing the number of rough sleepers in the Winchester district. It will also improve their health and long-term prospects”.

Following a gift of £500,000 from the Deflog-VQ Trust and considering other donations and reserves, Trinity still needs to raise £910,000 this year to be able to complete the project by the end of 2020.

The scheme was largely uncontroversial with only two objections from local people.

Julian Cavalier, of Wales Street, in a letter, said: “We are concerned at the risk this accommodation will bring to the area without any CCTV provision. We are concerned that similar projects have increased incidents of crime and unsocial behaviour including drunkenness, illegal drug taking and dealing and damage to neighbours’ property.

“When Trinity first opened here (in 2009), we experienced an increase in crime, rough sleepers within Trinity grounds, alcohol intoxification in our local park and abusive behaviour. The local residents had to work hard to encourage Trinity to take responsibility for this by forming the Durngate Action Group.

“Accommodation for vulnerable people already exists in Winchester and therefore feel there is no need for Trinity to build more.”

David Netherwood, of Durngate Terrace, said: “We were assured when the Trinity Centre was built that it would never be residential and feel very let down.”

Trinity responded to the city council and said in the 18months to spring last year the police had only been called five times.