Objections growing against rehab centre

Pemberton House Farm, Charnock Richard.

Pemberton House Farm, Charnock Richard.

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Controversial plans to build a 48-bedroomed rehabilitation centre in a Chorley village have caused a huge outcry.

The Charnock Richard centre is planned for derelict Pemberton House Farm – the ex-Latvian Consulate building – in Park Hall Road, opposite the former Camelot theme park entrance.

Its users would include people with alcohol and drugs dependencies and mental

illness.

Plans for a new 450-home ‘green village for the Camelot site’ were unveiled last week.

In addition to concerns about the type of people that would use the rehab centre, objectors in Charnock Richard and neighbouring Heskin, say it is in the green belt.

They also fear for highway safety, the impact on amenities and character of the area and about drainage problems.

A planning application has been submitted to Chorley Council by Stocks Hall Care Homes Ltd.

Leaflets from residents have been distributed, alerting people to the application – due to go before development control on June 11 – asking them to attend the meeting to “support the refusal”.

Chorley Council’s website has received more than 70 comments, the vast majority opposed to them.

Ward councillor Paul Leadbetter said he would support residents on the grounds of development, but not user issues. He said: “That’s a separate issue and that isn’t a planning consideration at all.”

But Ann Bishop, 64, a resident and parish councillor in the village, said: “I don’t see any reason why anyone should be scaremongering about it and I feel that piece of paper (leaflet) was just that.

“I feel they we’re putting words in people’s mouths, telling people what they should say and creating a worry that wasn’t necessary.”

She said her son in New Zealand worked in mental health and that people should be more understanding.

“It’s very close to my heart that people like my son have fought for a lot of years to get rid of discrimination.”

A Stocks Hall Care Homes Ltd spokesman said: “ We have been very open in our planning application.

“We understand planning officers are currently considering the application and there has been no decision.

“Stocks Hall is a local business and while we do not agree with the objections, we are concerned at some of the comments we have heard.

“So we are considering whether we can make any alterations to the application, and will be in touch with the council about that.”

Pemberton House Farm was the home of Howard Pym - who was appointed the United Kingdom’s honorary consul to the Kingdom of Latvia in 2005.