Darwen drugs rehab centre gets go-ahead

A CONTROVERSIAL drink and drugs rehab centre is to open in Darwen after the Planning Inspectorate overturned the decision to reject the proposal.

Last September, Blackburn with Darwen councillors narrowly rejected the application to transform The Woodlands into the facility by eight votes to seven.
 
But now the scene in the grade-two listed former nursing home in Holly Tree Close, has been given the go-ahead after the Planning Inspectorate overturned that decision on appeal.
 
The site will now be converted into a residential treatment centre by the Station Project.
 
Boss Catherine Floyd said the 60-room property would house 10 single mothers with drug and drink problems at any one time, along with their children.
 
Mrs Floyd said the project, which will open later this year, will take referrals from the local health services. Patients will be made to take drug tests on arrival and then throughout their stay.
 
There will also be a day care arm to the facility, with members of the residents’ families able to access drug and alcohol treatment.
 
She said: “It is extremely important that there are facilities in this area because Blackburn with Darwen has a large number of people with drug problems.
 
“If there was no problem there would be no need to open these sorts of facilities.
 
“I want to ask people to give the centre a chance because it will be providing a vital service to the community.”
 
The centre will be staffed by 15 workers.
 
Mrs Floyd had appealed to the inspectorate after claiming the borough’s planning committe had not made the decision on planning grounds.
 
The original application amassed 256 objections with people claiming it would increase crime, pose a threat to Whitehall Park users’ safety and increase traffic.