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Go ahead for Prom drug rehab centre

Gables holiday flats, Queens Promenade, where a planning application has been made to transform it into a rehabilitation centre for alcoholics.

Gables holiday flats, Queens Promenade, where a planning application has been made to transform it into a rehabilitation centre for alcoholics.

Former seafront holiday flats are to be converted into a rehabilitation centre for drug and alcohol addicts despite objections from people living nearby.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee has approved the use of the former Gables holiday apartments on Queens Promenade as a residential centre for up to 17 patients.

A petition signed by 87 people objecting to the scheme had been submitted, with residents raising concerns the holiday area was not the right place for a dependency unit.

Chris Barker, of Wolverton Avenue, whose home backs on to the Gables, told the meeting: “I feel this development shouldn’t happen for many reasons.

“But one is that is does not sit well with what Blackpool is about.

“I know there are a lot of people with drug and alcohol problems in Blackpool, but trying to move the problem to a residential area is not right.”

Neighbouring hoteliers had also warned the Promenade was not the right place.

But councillors said the patients would be paying in the region of £3,000 for 10 days treatment which demonstrated they wanted help and so were unlikely to cause disruption in the surrounding area.

Coun Martin Mitchell said: “The people have put themselves forward to receive care, at a cost of around £3,000 for 10 days care.

“They obviously want to undertake the treatment and there will be one-to-one care, and I think we should support this.”

Coun Tony Brown said he was concerned about parking, especially at busy times such as the Illuminations.

Ocean Recovery, which will be running the centre, has an existing centre in Watford which charges £3,495 for a 10-day stay.

The unit would be staffed 24 hours a day.

Planning officers had recommended the application for approval.

They said that part of Queens Promenade was quieter and thus suitable for the proposed use.

The report adds: “As such, no conflict between the proposed use and the surrounding holiday accommodation uses is anticipated.”

 

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