A Walsall care home that was shut down following serious safety concerns is set to be converted into a hostel for the homeless and people with mental health issues.
Walsall Council's planning committee is expected to approve the proposal for the former Orchard Manor home in Slaney Road, at a meeting on Thursday (January 3) night.
The hostel, run by Midshire Supported Housing Trust, would provide a 43-bed facility offering both long term and short term support to people with a range of issues including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health problems and those estranged from their families.
But the plan has provoked a storm of protest from residents and Walsall MP Valerie Vaz who are concerned about a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour in the cul-de-sac.
A previous application for a similar, 40-bedroom facility was refused following objections from the police concerned about how it would be managed.
In his report to committee, planning officer Paul Hinton said hostel residents would be assessed before being allowed in while people who have committed crimes such as arson or sexual offences would be barred.
He added residents will also have to sign up to a code of conduct while staff will liaise with police and facility will be managed 24 hours per day.
Two petitions with a total of 85 signatures from residents against the plan have been handed in to the council.
Among their concerns are an increase in crime, used needles being left strewn across nearby Pleck Park, the facility causing more noise and disturbance and an impact on parking.
Mrs Vaz said there were already three houses of multiple occupancy in the area and that there had been no sufficient guarantees provided that residents would not be exposed to anti-social behaviour.
But Mr Hinton said that no evidence had been provided for many of the points raised in objection while some of the issues were not of material planning consideration.
He added the police have not objected to the current proposal.
Mr Hinton said: "The application has demonstrated sufficient measures are in place to manage the use of the site without giving rise to an increase fear of crime in the area.
"There is no evidence that the proposal would increase crime and anti-social behaviour in the area or give rise to an unacceptable level of noise and disturbance.
"The proposal would not result in a significant loss of amenity for adjoining neighbours. The application has demonstrated sufficient off-street parking to serve the needs of the development."
Orchard Manor was shut down after Care Quality Commission inspectors visited it in October 2017.
Their damning report raised a string of serious safety concerns including people experiencing harm, the "woefully inadequate" leadership and staff lacking knowledge of those at risk of choking.
Inspectors even said the home was "dirty and smelt offensive". By the time the report was published in January 2018, all 32 residents had moved out.