HOMELESS people could be housed next to a pub and opposite a primary school if a £3 million scheme is approved.

The plan to place people with mental health problems and drink and drug addictions by the County Oak in Hollingbury, Brighton, was criticised by two Conservative councillors.

They said the scheme was “completely devoid of any argument or rationale” and was “not based on suitability” for those who could end up living there.

Brighton and Hove City Council had the chance to spend up to £750,000 of Government money – “with the present location being the only one they can currently find”, they said.

There were no support services that are necessary to help the adults with complex needs who would live there.

Instead, Carden Primary is diagonally across the road.

Former Conservative leader Councillor Geoffrey Theobald and his Patcham ward colleague Councillor Lee Wares said: “This project feels like one that is akin to spend the money and then try to make the scheme work, as opposed to being the optimum solution for the benefit of those it seeks to support.”

The two set out their concerns in a letter to council chief executive Geoff Raw.

The scheme is for 12 or 13 “move on” flats for people who have been homeless, along with an office, on the site of the old Hollingbury Library in Carden Hill.

The housing and new homes committee is being asked to approve the specialist service which is “to enable people who are making progress in their recovery journey to move from high needs hostel accommodation into self-contained move on accommodation”.

As well as up to £750,000 from the Government – through a grant from an organisation called Homes England – the council plans to borrow £2.4 million to fund the £3.1 million project.

If the housing committee gives its backing, a public consultation should start in April.

The council hopes to submit a planning application in June and, subject to permission being granted in the autumn, start building the flats next February and complete the scheme by March 2021.

Cllr Wares welcomed the proposed consultation and said: “It is important so that residents know clearly what the proposal is and can make their judgement on if this is something they wish to support or object to.

“It isn’t unreasonable to expect that if the council wants to do something, it justifies why, demonstrates it can deliver the objectives it seeks to achieve and spells out clearly to the community what it will mean to them and how it may impact them.”

The move on scheme’s potential residents would be single people who have lived in hostels, emergency housing or temporary housing for five to seven years.

An allocation panel would assess them to try to ensure that they could live with a medium level of support.

The scheme is due to be discussed by the housing committee tomorrow (Wednesday) at Hove Town Hall, starting at 4pm.