Residents raise fears over plans for new nine-storey ‘mega hostel’

By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter

A new mega hostel could be built bang in the centre of Soho and residents are terrified it could add to the already growing problems of anti-social behaviour in the area.

A nine-storey hostel featuring 775 beds could be built on Dean Street with a huge roof terrace.

Plans have been submitted to Westminster City Council to triple the size of the existing Sohostel as well as to add a new healthcare clinic at the address.

The current hostel on the site can host up to 295 visitors and the space is currently also home to Soho Coffee Club.

New “sleeping pods” will replace bunk beds in the extended hostel, heavily increasing the number of beds in the building.

Local people fear it could lead to even more party goers descending on Soho.

Soho is already experiencing a number of issues of anti-social behaviour including noisy pedicab drivers and party-goers urinating and having sex in the area’s alleyways.

Currently bins in Soho fill up with rubbish so quickly they have to be changed every 45 minutes and cleaners find the mess so mad it is “eye-watering”.

Combined with the new Crossrail station in the area residents are fearful Soho will become even more saturated with tourists and clubbers.

Building plans show that builders would redevelop the site at 91 and 92 Dean Street behind the protected façade.

The Soho Society has said it is worried by the noise and anti-social behaviour that would be caused by the additional party-goers and says there is no need for more hotels in the area.

Residents also expressed concerns that there will be spaces available for events in the building.

Planning rules in the area says only smaller boutique hotels should be built in Soho to fit in with its existing character.

Buildings with over 100 rooms are against the Soho Special Policy Area provisions say the Soho Society.

Westminster City Council will decide whether to go ahead with the hostel plans at a planning committee meeting today.



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