Destruction of Refuge or Catalyst for Rejuvenation?

Construction of new apartment building
Joanne Hamilton

Framework, an active charity group, works across the UK to support struggling citizens nationally and provides various services, ranging from health issues and unemployment to addiction. However, plans were revealed to demolish a former hotel, which acts as housing for those who are homeless, to replace it with new residential complexes. In this article, Joanne Hamilton covers whether the plans were beneficial or harmful to the community in Nottingham and analyses it.   

Framework is a charity working across the Midlands and North of England to provide support to those who need it, offering a range of services, including housing to those who suffer from homelessness, addiction, mental illness and unemployment.

Last month, plans were unveiled to demolish the former White Horse Hotel – currently used by Framework as a building offering housing accommodation for those in need – to replace 36 build-to-rent apartments. NottinghamshireLive reported on the plans when they were first announced, noting – specifically – the opinions of the surrounding locals ‘’I just don’t know if it will look right.’’

Beyond the development’s aesthetic, however, we must consider whether or not the plans can be beneficial to the surrounding community or detrimental.

When asked for comment, Nottingham council stated that they cannot discuss ongoing plans. However, Impact sought comment from the building company to gain further insight.

Inovo Consulting is a Nottingham-based planning agent involved in several development projects, including the recent Mount Hooton Road project. To consider how this development could be beneficial, Impact sought comment from Chris Waumsley, an Inovo planning consultant involved in the project. Waumsley noted that the interest in the property stems from the need for ‘’significant investment in its repair and maintenance if it is to continue to be occupied.’’ He also highlighted that the owner of the building has decided that redevelopment is a more viable option. In response to local concerns that the development would look out-of-place against the otherwise traditional architecture, Waumsley assures that the ‘’new building [will be] carefully designed to reflect the character of the locality.’’

When asked how these plans could enrich the local community, the consultant focused first on the positive environmental impact the development would have in comparison to its predecessor ‘’The new building will be more sustainable than the existing in environmental terms as it will be far more energy efficient and incorporate renewable energy sources for heat and power such as solar power.’’ Further to this, Waumsley highlighted that the council believes developments such as this – ones that are designed for ‘’key workers and people who want to live in the locality in high-quality, sustainable accommodation’’ – are in a shortage in comparison to the needs of the city over the last 15 years and ‘’schemes like this, utilising brownfield sites, are needed to help meet those needs.’’

Framework has, unfortunately, not returned Impact’s attempts to reach out. However, it is essential to consider how the charity’s work affects those in need. According to Framework’s website, 2,454 people were housed in 2022/23, 7,703 people were helped through addiction and mental health services, and 5,567 people were supported in communities across the East Midlands and Sheffield.

To understand the absolute need for the charity, it is essential to look at the number of individuals a charity like Framework is aiming to help; Shelter’s report, looking specifically at homelessness in 2022 and 2023, states that there will be 1,591 people recorded as homeless in Nottinghamshire on any given night – this is the highest rate of homelessness in the East Midlands. They must be offered continued support from the local council to make a difference to those in vulnerable situations, and – according to Waumsley – ‘’The owner has discussed the relocation of the framework tenants to another property in the locality,’’, ensuring their vital work can continue.

Joanne Hamilton


Featured image courtesy of James Sullivan via Unsplash. Image license found here. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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