Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has gained approval for a controversial redevelopment plan that will convert accommodation for homeless people into luxury flats.
According to the BBC, the 72-year-old’s company is set to redevelop the Belgravia Hotel site in Bournemouth, which has been used to provide a roof over the heads of homeless people for around 30 years.
This would also include the leaseholders Gerry and Wendy Hunt, an elderly couple, and their wheelchair-bound son.
One resident, Clifford Henley, said: “To be chucking 30 blokes on the streets with no consideration whatsoever – it’s brutal.”
Wendy Hunt added: “We would all be homeless … They [the Redknapps] have got as much money as they need, but they just don’t want the poor people to have anything.”
Although Redknapp, who has also managed the likes of West Ham, Southampton, Portsmouth and QPR in the Premier League, is widely thought of as one of English football’s great characters, this plan could majorly tarnish his reputation.
Gareth Davies, a spokesman for Redknapp’s company Pierfront, has defended the scheme, saying: “None of the residents are aware of the details of the financial investment, risk and fair commercial expectation of return that is associated with this scheme.
“Pierfront acquired the property without planning permission, fully aware of the tenant being in place and with a short period of time until the tenancy was to end.
“The development is not ‘posh’, the units ranging from £160,000 to £300,000, and with the help-to-buy scheme currently available in support.”