A PLAN to convert a city centre listed building into 25 flats for the homeless was enthusiastically backed by the city council.

Work will now start to convert a three-storey grade II-listed Georgian building in Shaw Street – which previously housed the Probation Service – into a number of single-room apartments for some of the city’s homeless people after it received unanimous support by Worcester City Council’s planning committee on Thursday (August 22).

The flats plan has been bankrolled by Worcester Municipal Charities with some grant funding by Homes England.

Chris Mitchell, chairman of the planning committee, said: “With the uncertainty of the YMCA in the city, the addition of 25 beds can only, I think, be a benefit to the city and for the people that need accommodation.

“I very much support this.”

Cllr Pat Agar, vice chairman of the planning committee, said: “I’m in absolute agreement about the need for this kind of accommodation. We badly need it and it’s lovely to see it.

“It’s great to see the anti-pollution measures. That’s a new one. I have thought for some time that there are buildings in the city that we have approved that should have had these measures so I’m really glad we are taking it more seriously now.”

The scheme will provide independent living for single homeless people recommended by Worcester Citizens Advice Bureau and WHABAC.

The charity would also provide management and support services to those using the apartments as it does across other accommodation in the city.

The conversion would mean the building could be improved and repaired - the building was last refurbished in 2002 - and be regularly maintained by the charity.

The outside of the building would remain largely the same.