Protestors present 4,500-signature petition against YMCA hostel plans for former medical centre in Sunderland

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A 4,384-strong petition opposing plans to build a YMCA hostel in Silksworth has been submitted to Sunderland City Council (SCC).

In recent months, residents have raised concerns about plans to turn the former Church View Medical Centre in Silkworth into a home for young people leaving the care system.

The plans include an eight-bed purpose-built scheme to provide a place to live for young people aged between 16 and 21.

Related:’I was one of these children’ - plans for new YMCA hostel spark debate in Sunderland

However, the YMCA have previously argued that using the site as a hostel will  help the issue of young people leaving care at 16 at risk of homelessness.

Following a recent protest march against the plans, residents from the ‘No Way To The YMCA’ campaign gathered outside Sunderland Civic Centre on September 19 ahead of a full council meeting.

Coun Phil Tye, who represents Silksworth ward, presented the petition on behalf of the Silksworth Residents Association.

This included a call to the council to stop the former medical centre being turned into residential accommodation

Related: Campaigners march against plans for new YMCA hostel in Sunderland

Protester and Silksworth resident, Allen Weston, speaking before the meeting, added: “We’re here to stop the YMCA getting into the building.

“It can’t be anymore important in the eyes of residents. It has brought the whole community together.

“We raised nearly 4,500 signatures and there are only 8,000 people in Silkworth. That’s over half.

“I have a little baby that’s growing up and we want the area to remain as safe as possible around the play parks.”

Now it’s submitted, the petition will be considered by Sunderland City Council.

It can currently be viewed on the website.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service