A HOMELESS shelter has had its plan to open a café approved.

The St Paul's direct access hotel in St Paul's Lane, which is run by Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, is already undergoing a £1 million refurbishment adding a gym, new toilets and other facilities for residents.

The association has been granted change of use approval by the council to serve food from its kitchen to the wider community.

A report by planning officer Steve Davies states: "The proposed café use is an appropriate use for this mixed office/student location and will provide a useful local facility in my view."

BCHA intends to use the kitchen as a way of "up-skilling" the residents at St Paul's, helping them "develop skills that will create better opportunities in the workplace.

It will also act as a meeting place for residents and, in the short term, provide refreshments for workers on nearby building sites.