A HOMELESS shelter is set to open in a former pub.

Rochford Council is applying to itself to turn the Kings Head, in West Street, Rochford, into provding "emergency temporary accommodation to homeless households”.

A council spokesman said: “With the introduction and impact of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, there is a continuing need to secure suitable emergency temporary accommodation.”

The 11 room shelter, with three commercial units planned on the ground floor, would provide homes for families at risk of homelessness and people currently living in bed and breakfasts while waiting for a new home.

Weekly rent will be £100 a week per room, expected to be paid for out of housing benefit, with a £3 contribution for utilities.

It is expected to cost £40,000-a-year to run, which is far cheaper than the approximate £160,000 it would cost to use bed and breakfasts for the same number of people.

Former Rochford councillor Heather Glynn has raised concerns about how much it might cost to renovate the derelict building which was severely damaged by fire in January.

The estimate has not been disclosed by the council.

Mrs Glynn said: “A lot of work will need to be done to make it liveable for the occupants.

“There are plenty of other locations in Rochford that could be used for this service.”

The report revealed 83 families, which the council has responsibility, for are in temporary accommodation including 22 who have had to be temporarily housed outside of Basildon.

Bernadette Haddy of St Andrews Road is one of those who has objected to the plans.

She said: “The developers bought it as a pub and it should stay a pub.

“There seems to be no consideration given to parking and trying to squeeze 11 units into this historic pub smacks of greed.”

However Rochford parish councillor Matt Softly, a parish feels it is time something is done with the building.

He said: “There are serious concerns about the state of the building and how much work will have to be done to make it safe for people to live in it. However, it is a vacant property that should have something done. People are having to stay outside of Rochford in Southend B&Bs and then travel back here to see friends or care for family members, that makes little sense and this would be much more cost effective.