Login Register

Veterans' support centre under fire in Longlevens

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 18, 2014

Veteran soldiers can get help in Gloucester, with plans underway for a second support centre in the city

Comments (15)

Vital support for vulnerable ex-servicemen and women could be offered in Longlevens if planners agree to a charity’s plans to open a new eight bed shelter there.

Christian charity Alabare will meet with worried residents on Wednesday to ease concerns about the effect the Church Road home could have on the area.

It will be the second Gloucestershire Homes for Veterans base in the city. A similar centre opened in Alexandra Road in November after a two year campaign by charity workers to provide shelter and support for those who need it most.

There, each veteran has their own room in the shared house and are required to eat together four times a week, clean and maintain the garden space.

Related content

A planning application has been submitted for a change of use of the building from a dwelling house to a property accommodating ‘eight non-related individuals’.

Ian Freeman has written a letter to the city council, objecting to the plans.

“They shouldn’t be placed in a child risk area,” he said.

“Is this the right place for soldiers to transition to civilian life? They need to rehabilitate back into civilian life, not be thrown in.

“A risk assessment needs to be carried out.”

Alabaré specialises in re-integrating veterans, some with post traumatic stress disorder or alcoholism, back into civilian life.

Some Longlevens residents who have spoken out against the plans are concerned about the detrimental effect on house prices in a sought after residential area.

Critics have also questioned why a residential area has been chosen for the new home, rather than a city centre property or somewhere closer to health facilities.

Geoffrey Willis, Alabare’s campaign director, said: “In Gloucestershire we have been fortunate to have the backing of an extremely pro-active group of local supporters including the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucester, City Mayor, local Councillors, and members of the local business, military and residential communities, who have all helped to raised the awareness and funds needed to provide this support in their area.

“The model of accommodation and support that we provide for our veterans has been developed through our close partnership working with over a dozen major armed forces charities. Our decision to expand our Homes for Veterans is always based on the need in an area. We carry out a full risk assessment as part of our procedures when buying or renting a new property.”

The meeting is being held at Longlevens Library in Church Road from 7pm.

Read more from Gloucester Citizen

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • TruthSeeker7  |  March 19 2014, 11:22PM

    The people who would be living in this accommodation need normality. what use is shutting them away in the back of beyond? so they are out of sight and out of mind? fine way to repay them that would be! Anyone who really has an issue with this doesn't deserve to live in a decent community and should move themselves out of the sight of decent, caring, compassionate people...

  • Kay_Powell  |  March 19 2014, 3:43PM

    OMG, the local elections are just coming up. What are the candidates going to say to the nimbys? Paul James is up for re-election, so I'd love to hear his argument on this one. It's amusing that some people consider that it's all right for criminals to be housed in the approved premises (bail hostel) on the corner of High Street and Ryecroft Street in Tredworth, but object to services veterans being housed in Longlevens.

    |   -23
  • crazy8  |  March 19 2014, 1:10PM

    I would rather have ex service men living in my area instead of the number of Immigrants that seem to keep growing each week at least you could understand them when you walk pass them in the streets

  • HuckiePhil  |  March 19 2014, 9:52AM

    To Steward850 and Freeman - you are clearly missing a major point here. Statistically, in your very community, you already have far more than 8 alcoholics, people suffering from mental illness and depression and, yes, probably a paedophile or two. You just don't know who they are. Waiving for a second the fact that these ex-servicemen and women received these war-wounds (for that is what they are) in your name and in your defence, why do you fear their known presence more than the unknowns already in your midst?

  • jackson99  |  March 19 2014, 1:07AM

    These veterans have served this countryt in war and need help, but it seems some people just dont care. It seems to some that that a how much a house is worth is more important than a person who needs help.

  • RoadWombat  |  March 18 2014, 10:22PM

    Sorry - "would run a mile..."

  • RoadWombat  |  March 18 2014, 10:22PM

    I live in the area and I think it's an excellent idea! Whatever prejudices Freeman and his cronies (who have probably never seen a day's service in their lives and wouldn't a mile if someone suggested it) might have are not shared by the vast majority of us. I, too, have served in Bosnia and elsewhere and am proud to feel my community (for which Freeman and Steward do NOT speak) has been chosen as the site for the centre.

  • JemmyWood  |  March 18 2014, 9:56PM

    Steward, enlighten us with more detail then on the ACTUAL effects that those with possible alcoholic and stress related illnesses will have on a community which has at its heart a nursery and a primary school. What exact effects? Why is a nursery and a primary school affected by this and exactley how. Stop broad brushing... Lets have some hard facts, because my friend, you are talking utter bum custard. I my self am a retired serviceman with 23 years service, having completed multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia amongst other places, so I am very interested in how I am a threat to the gentle folk of Longlevens.

  • macthered  |  March 18 2014, 9:09PM

    I am a decorated veteran serving 21 years for my country of which I am immensely proud . I have been through physical and mental traumas that I would not wish on my worst enemy. I know work for Alabare in Bristol homes for veterans. Ian are you saying that every veteran is a paedophile? If you don't want to stand by them, the next time we are sent to a foreign country to keep the peace you are very welcome to stand in front of us. Narrow minded thinking like this is what's ruining the moral and ethics of a once great country.

  • steward850  |  March 18 2014, 9:07PM

    I agree that these veterans need somewhere to establish a new life for themselves, but I don't feel that Church Road is an appropriate location. Alabare has itself published a list of 25 different rules that the residents need to adhere to, suggesting in itself that they have a substantial range of issues to deal with. The vast majority of those objecting do not consider these people paedophiles - that is just emotive, unsavoury rubbish,pedalled by a very tiny minority. We are however concerned about the effect that those with possible alcoholic and stress related illnesses will have on a community which has at its heart a nursery and a primary school.