Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Aberdeen Council given go-ahead to sue itself

April 02 2010
City Council fights itself over the threatened closure of an  hostel

The threatened closure of a homeless hostel in Aberdeen has lead the City Council to become embroiled in a legal dispute... with itself.

The Council-owned Crown Street hostel had the renewal of its HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupation) licence refused by the Council's Licensing Committee after a leafleting campaign generated over 50 objections from local residents and traders.

Objections cited vandalism, thefts and drug taking as well as feeling threatened by the residents of the hostel and the wider homeless population in the area. However, the Council's Anti Social Behaviour Team has no record of complaints about the premises and neither they nor the police offered any objection to the license renewal. In September last year, the Committee voted narrowly to refuse the application on the grounds that 'the premises is not suitable or convenient [..] having regard to the possibility of undue public nuisance or public order or public safety.'

However, the decision prompted the Council's housing department to pursue legal action to have the decision overturned. At an initial hearing held on 25 January at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Sheriff Tierney ruled that the case could go ahead as there was a 'conflict of duties' between the licensing and housing departments, creating the unusual if not unique situation of an organisation suing itself at a full hearing later this year.

The Crown Street hostel remains open until a decision from the courts is delivered.

• Aberdeen Homeless Accommodation Service are on 01224 579283