By Joshua Robinson –
Residents in Outlane, a village near Huddersfield, have been raising questions over claims a hotel premises is being used to house homeless and vulnerable people.
Concerned residents have been urging local politicians for answers over the use of The Old Golf House as temporary accommodation.
According to residents, the village has seen several crime incidents in recent months and some locals have noticed police vehicles attending the hotel premises on several occasions.
Two residents spoke to YorkshireLive but asked to remain anonymous.
One of the residents said the village lacked the infrastructure needed to support people with drug and alcohol issues: “It is the wrong place completely. We want to know what is going on and who is being housed in that hotel.”
The resident said a local business had been broken into on Monday 27th November and a jar of cash had been stolen.
Another resident claimed there had been a sharp rise in reported crimes in and around the hotel in recent months. They said that last month a drunk man was spotted in a resident’s back garden “shouting and waving a wine bottle around.”
The resident said a Freedom of Information request to the police revealed there were 18 incidents recorded at the Old Golf House Hotel in the three months up to Monday 30th October.
In an email last month, a police officer told two worried residents that there had been a rise in calls in and around the hotel, but these incidents did not relate to ‘acquisitive crime’ such as burglary or theft and therefore the recorded crime mentioned for that location “should not be adversely affecting the local community.”
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Locals have been told that a ‘multi-agency’ meeting was held on Monday 27th November, involving police and Kirklees housing officials, but residents don’t know what was discussed or if any decisions were taken.
Outlane village falls partly within both Kirklees and Calderdale and, according to one local councillor, the two local authorities have a ‘joint initiative’ to place homeless people at The Old Golf House.
Councillor Paul Bellenger, whose ward includes part of Outlane, said he had spoken to Calderdale Council officials who had confirmed that some of the hotel residents were dependent on drugs or alcohol. He said residents had informed him that women and children had also been placed there.
Councillor Bellenger said: “Is it a recipe for disaster?”
The Lib Dem councillor has raised his concerns with officers at Calderdale and was told the issues were being looked at.
On the village crime issue, Councillor Bellenger said: “When crime is on the increase in an area it does have an impact on the value of properties.”
He added: “There are a number of concerns and a number of questions that we need thorough answers to.”
Councillor Moses Crook, Kirklees Cabinet Member for Housing and Highways, said: “It’s a particularly difficult time to be homeless in Kirklees, with harsh weather and temperatures frequently below freezing.”
“As an authority and as a community, we are always committed to supporting people who are struggling with homelessness, but in winter months this support becomes more vital than ever.”
Councillor Crook added: “We are working closely with local police and our Safer Kirklees team to make sure any temporary accommodation sites don’t impact the safety of local residents. There will be more patrols and community engagement over the coming months to support local people and tackle any issues with crime and antisocial behaviour.”
“Regardless of anyone’s situation, we want Kirklees to be a place where all of our residents can be safe, and this will remain our priority.”
YorkshireLive were unable to reach the hotel for a comment.