Published: Friday, 13th October 2023

Medway Council is aware of reports that Anchorage House, an office block in Chatham, may be used for temporary accommodation by a local authority in London.

Although local authorities retain the responsibility for the families they place here, it does have an impact on our local support services.

Out of area placements reduces the number of homes on the market for local residents to access, drives up housing costs and places additional strain on local services such as social care, schools and healthcare providers.

Medway Council is also facing significant pressures with temporary accommodation and homelessness duties.

Cllr Naushabah Khan, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property, said: “We understand this accommodation has been brought forward through permitted development rights, which allows the conversion of office space into housing without planning consent, giving the council little control or influence.

“We are urgently asking government to review the policy of permitted development rights. We would also encourage government to consider the impact out of area placements have and to ensure that appropriate funding is allocated to councils which are adversely impacted.”

News archive