THE controversial relocation of a York homeless hostel is set to get the go-ahead from councillors, despite objections.

An application to move the Arc Light centre to Union Terrace car park will go before a City of York Council planning committee next week, with councillors advised to back the scheme.

A number of local residents and businesses objected to the plans, but in a report to councillors, development control officer Chris Newsome said the applicant, York Housing Association, had responded to many concerns.

The report said: "The Arc Light scheme has brought together, in an innovative and sympathetic manner, the need to provide a centre of excellence for the homeless; whilst responding to its physical context and putting in place measures to minimise any impact upon the local community."

Fourteen letters opposing the plans, and two supporting them, were received via the public consultation.

Objections were based on various factors, including claims that crime, noise and disturbance would increase; parking spaces would be lost; there was inadequate drainage in the area; there was already an excess of social care institutions locally; and that the development will be damaging to local archaeology and the area's historic setting.

But the development was generally supported by various bodies, including the nearby York St John University and English Heritage.

North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust welcomed the support provided by Arc Light, but voiced concerns about the potential impact on staff safety.

One objection letter, from a Union Terrace resident and five Clarence Street businesses, raised a range of concerns, including security.

The letter states: "The road behind Union Terrace is next to nurses' quarters and is a short cut to the hospital. This is used extensively by hospital staff, out-patients and hospital visitors.

"There are concerns about security and safety for people using this short cut."

North Yorkshire Police said reported crime around the centre's current Leeman Road site was no higher than average.

Arc Light has had to move from its Leeman Road home, because facilities were inadequate and the site was part of the York Central site, earmarked for extensive development.

The Union Terrace site was chosen following a widespread consultation, after an earlier attempt to move the centre to the site of the former Shipton Street School was vehemently opposed by local residents.

In the report, Chris Newsome wrote: "The application has benefited from considerable pre-application consultations and discussions. The applicant has responded in a positive manner to the concerns expressed at that stage and during consideration of the application itself, as well as to the challenge of developing on part of an extensive car park, set in a strong historic context."

The plans will go before the committee at Guildhall at 5pm next Wednesday.