Bristol residents would prefer porn studio over housing for migrant workers

Houses are seen from the air in Bristol, southern England. © Neil Hall
A group of residents in Bristol, England, say they’d prefer a building which houses a porn studio to be left as is rather than transforming it into an apartment block to house migrant workers.

Neighbors to the building in question, which is located in the St George area of the English city, say they will sell their homes if the council gives the green light for the building to be converted.

The owner of the building, Mike Hobbins, says the conversion would go some way to “solving the housing crisis in Bristol,” reports the Bristol Post.

Hobbins says he would like to convert the building to house 20 large bedrooms with private bathrooms, as well as communal kitchens and laundries.

The architect who drew up the plans for the building, Martin Farrell, explained to the newspaper that the building would be ideal for “transient” workers who are “in a position where they go from job to job,” but residents are not keen on this at all.

It’s reported the local council have received 35 objections to the building from residents who fear this will "bludgeon the neighborhood to death" as there will be a continuous change in those living there and no sense of community due to short term rental contracts.

The building had been operating as "a film studio for pornographic films and live streaming" operated by Phil Barry, husband of porn star Cathy Barry, but neighbors say it “wasn't really a problem”.

Naomi Maggs, who has lived in the area for 11 years, said that any problems they did have with the porn studio were brought to the owner and “it got sorted.”

“They don't have any respect for the building, the street, the neighbours in the area,” Maggs said of the planned change. “This is going to be 40 people coming and going every six months. It's going to drive people out of St George.”

Hobbins argues, however, that no overseas workers would be sought out, and that only professionals would be accepted.

The local council will consider the planning application in May.