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Local objection to planned rehab centre

02 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Illegal drugs

Anthony Lewis Local Democracy Reporter

A drug and alcohol rehab centre could be coming to a Rhondda village, despite local opposition, if plans are approved.

Plans for the change of use of Fifth Avenue Guest House and bungalow on Hirwaun Industrial Estate to a residential drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre will be considered by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, February 8.

The planning report said that the proposed change of use would be carried out within the fabric of the existing building and no physical internal or external alterations would be required to facilitate the proposed use.

Christian charity

The centre would be operated by a Christian charity called Vision of Hope that successfully rehabilitates ex-offenders and those suffering from drugs and alcohol addiction, the report said.

Residents of the centre would be reintegrated back into society through education and volunteering and the charity currently operates a successful facility elsewhere and the proposal would allow their relocation.

It would accommodate up to 20 people and that the use would predominantly be operated from the main guest house building.

The wider site is currently used to keep a small number of animals and the applicant has confirmed that they would continue to use the land for this purpose to help support the residents with the animals playing an important part in their therapy.

There was one letter of objection which said there is no need for such a facility in the local area, residents would rather see tourism brought here instead and that the facility would be tucked amongst a developing area with the new road expected to bring new tourist ideas and the proposal risks such plans from happening.

“Out of place”

They said the proposal is out of place and that it would serve those from far outside the valleys and would not benefit the area.

But in recommending approval, planning officers said that whilst the application site is situated outside of the defined settlement boundary, it has been operated as a guest house (use class C1) for many years and, given that the proposed use can be carried ou within the existing building without any building works or alterations, it is not considered that the proposal to change the use would result in a significant change to the overall character of the site.

They added: “There is some concern with regards to the secluded location of the site, however, it is accepted that such locations can aid in the rehabilitation of individuals by removing them from society and reducing any potential for
temptation to revert back to previous routines and habits.

“Furthermore, given the location of site in relation to surrounding residential and commercial properties, it is not considered that the use would be detrimental to the amenity of existing neighbouring residents and businesses.”

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