Angus Residents In Warning Over Rehab Centre
Villagers have warned that approval of plans for a drug rehabilitation clinic in an Angus glen could lead to more applications across the county. Renaissance People Community Interest Co has submitted a planning application to Angus Council to turn a former hotel and restaurant at Bridgend of Lintrathen into a rehabilitation clinic.
About 50 residents from the village and the surrounding area have formed the Save Angus Glens Environment group in response to the proposals. They claim the Glasgow-based company behind the project could try to open similar facilities across Angus if the plans, which have received 105 objections, are given the go-ahead.
Renaissance People bought the former Lochside Lodge hotel and restaurant for £375,000 and aims to reopen it as a rehabilitation clinic for up to 10 recovering drug and alcohol addicts at one time. Angus Council’s development standards committee could decide on the application at its meeting on May 18, if a report on the plans is ready for that date.
Lintrathen resident Sarah McCabe believes the decision on the application will be significant for all villages in the Angus glens. She said: “If this is approved, then a worrying precedent could be set for the Angus glens, where Renaissance People could be looking at opening other facilities throughout the area. The company has made it clear it thinks Angus is right for it, so we need to make sure our concerns about the suitability of the building and its location are properly heard.
“While we have been campaigning, we have come across people in Kirriemuir and other areas who have said: well, it’s not on my doorstep, so why does it matter? Well, it does and we need to move away from this sort of Nimby approach, as the consequences of this decision will be significant for the whole of the area.”
The residents’ group has also been circulating a petition on the contentious issue and it has collected more than 500 signatures in support. This will be lodged with the council’s planning department. Last month, representatives of the company and residents had a heated discussion at Kilry Hall.
During the meeting, director Carol Mackie repeatedly stated that the lodge and Angus in general were the “ideal” locations for the centre. Since that meeting, Renaissance People has made no further public comment on the application. No one was available for comment at the company yesterday.