The closure of a “vital” night shelter for homeless people could have “horrible” consequences.

The housing association which runs St Patrick’s Hostel in Cambridge Road, Hove, yesterday (November 13) told The Argus it plans to close the night shelter in February.

Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet member for communities and public protection, Ben Duncan, said the results of shutting the service would be “horrible and very visible”.

He vowed to see whether the council could provide any of the essential services that will be lost.

A spokeswoman for Riverside-ECHG which took over the running of St Patrick’s last year said: “We have reviewed the viability of the outdated and very basic night shelter which is housed in the church hall adjacent the main hostel.

“As a result, we will be closing the night shelter from February, leaving the council with the option to use it for severe weather beds if cold weather conditions prevail.

“We have not taken the decision to close the night shelter lightly but after the lengthy consultation, we have had to concede that the unacceptability of the accommodation (poor sanitation facilities, no proper laundry, no rooms for staff to do support planning with clients etc) has left us with no other option.”

Riverside-ECHG began a review into the future of St Patrick’s last November (2010) – the shelter can house 14 people at a time.

As part of the review the housing association decided to invest £100,000 in refurbishing the main hostel.

Coun Duncan said he was “deeply concerned” to be told of the night shelter’s closure by The Argus.

He said: “The impact is going to be felt everywhere. It is going to be horrible and visible.”

Coun Duncan said that while the council was trying to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city, he acknowledged that it “doesn’t help someone tomorrow”.

He added: “I will be investigating whether there is anything the council can do to pick up the pieces of service delivery.”

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