A NEW place for the homeless to stay overnight during the winter is to open at The Haven on Trowbridge’s Seymour estate next week.

The shelter is being opened on Langford Road, using premises which were once a women’s refuge.

Wiltshire Council’s winter provision will operate until March 31 and will be run by Alabare.

It will provide between seven and 10 beds, plus a laundry room, a bathroom, two kitchens, lounges and a large conservatory area.

The council says the property is being leased for five months so there are no conversion costs.

But local town councillor Graham Payne says the county should have consulted more widely on the scheme before going ahead.

He said: “I would have preferred greater consultation to have taken place.”

Cllr Richard Clewer, cabinet member for housing said: “The property will provide clients with a warm bed and support to help them break the cycle of homelessness and move into more stable accommodation.

“We have a new Rough Sleeper Initiative Team which is bringing in a range of measures and this property will provide seven beds and a team of support to help break the cycle.

“The women’s refuge continues doing good work at a new location in Wiltshire.”

In June, Wiltshire Council obtained a £312,000 Government grant to provide overnight accommodation for rough sleepers during the winter.

The funding is due to be spent on extra night shelter spaces, three new outreach workers, a dedicated housing adviser and a project co-ordinator.

The council has decided to put one of the winter shelters in Trowbridge as it could not find suitable premises in Devizes. Others will be opened at Unity House in Chippenham and in Salisbury.