A SCHEME to house the homeless in shipping containers at a Wrexham night shelter has been given the go-ahead.

Wrexham Council has won funding from the Welsh Government to erect four former shipping containers at Ty Nos in Holt Road, which it hopes will help it tackle a growing homelessness problem.

The town has been listed as having the second highest number of rough sleepers in Wales.

But the unconventional plans to give them refuge in a temporary accommodation scheme on the car park of the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association-run shelter have been welcomed by councillors.

Planning control manager David Williams explained: "They will be offered to homeless people who have shown a commitment to stable long-term accommodation in the area.

"They will be let on strict licence so it will be managed very carefully to ensure there are no issues or problems in the locality."

The four containers will be kitted out with a kitchen, sitting area, double bedroom and shower room/WC to provide much-needed shelter for vulnerable people who have been forced to spend their time on the streets.

A further container is to be adapted to provide cold weather accommodation in emergencies where the homeless will also be able to access support services from Ty Nos. It will open up between 8pm and 8am and it and all the containers will be left up until at least June 2021.

The council planning chief said the visual impact on neighbouring properties would be limited because of the lay of the land which meant householders will only gaze across the top of the containers.

But while the council's planning committee agreed permission for a change of use to the land so the containers could be erected, Cllr David Kelly, lead member for planning and corporate services, said the scheme should be subject to review.

Cllr Paul Pemberton added: "There has been a need for this for some time. It is a stop gap and I would support the temporary provision fully as if it doesn't work out then at least we can address any problems.

"I would like them painted sympathetically too."

Cllr Paul Roberts questioned the lack of direct management from Ty Nos, but the planning chief said the former homeless would be offered the same level of support as council tenants would in permanent accommodation.

He said their temporary status would provide the opportunity to check on any impact to neighbouring properties.

"We want to make sure the buildings are maintained to a reasonable standard and look at the potential for any anti-social behaviour that might crop up," said Mr Williams.