Plans for Mansfield Woodhouse drug and alcohol rehab gets green light
Controversial plans for a drug, alcohol and mental health recovery centre in a former Mansfield Woodhouse care home have been given the green light by planners.
The change of use of the former Elizabeth House Care Home on Church Hill Avenue into a 13 bed ‘secondary care’ facility for people recovering from addictions was agreed by Mansfield District Council on Monday night.
Around 60 residents objected to the application by Darren Rolfe, of the Steps Together organisation.
He said the ‘life-saving’ facility was needed in response to an ‘excessive demand’ for residential addiction services.
However, Coun John Coxhead, ward councillor for Yeoman Hill, said a centre was ‘not wanted’ in the community close to St Edmund’s Primary School, Yeoman Hill Park and also cited traffic issues.
“I’m not against rehabilitation, people trying to get better, what I’m against is putting something like this bang in the middle of a residential area, by a busy junction, a school and park where children play,” he said.
"Yeoman Hill has had its share of anti-social behaviour. People can drop off the wagon – anyone in that rehab looking out of the window seeing people boozing and dabbling in drugs, it could be a temptation.
"My priority is residents. I don’t feel I had enough time due to Covid to gather the community’s views. Some people worry about traffic issues, especially the centre using a minibus and reversing out of the drive.”
Mr Rolfe says he wants to ‘reach out’ to residents and invite anyone who objected to meet him and have ‘a look round’ the centre to learn about its services.
"We are not primary care, we don’t detox here, we help people recover at the end of treatment and integrate back to their lives,” he said.
“Alcohol and drug problems can affect anyone and they kill people. It’s been horrendous this past 16 months; the rise in alcoholism due to stress and problems surrounding Covid and loss of structured support.
"We see nurses and doctors, police officers, professional people, people dealing with the pandemic on the frontline, they’ve seen a lot of trauma and turn to alcohol or drugs, which can lead to suicide. We will help anyone.
“Drink and drugs aren’t welcome here, we have 24-hour staffing, clients can’t bring cars, there won’t be parking issues.”