Rehab centre rejected on green belt grounds

Proposed new rehab centre at Charnock Richard
Proposed new rehab centre at Charnock Richard

A care home company says it will review it proposals for a 42-bedroom rehabilitation centre after they were thrown out by Chorley planning councillors.

Residents feared the Priory-style unit in the former Latvian consulate at Pemberton House Farm, Charnock Richard, would pose a public danger.

Stocks Hall Care Homes had already downsized the facility and changed the type of mental health patients it would treat – to those with eating disorders, depression and stress, for example. It scrapped originally proposed treatments for drug or sexual behavioural issues.

A spokesman for Stocks Hall Care Homes Limited said: “We are extremely disappointed by the decision of the development control committee to refuse our plans to redevelop Pemberton House Farm into a modern, purpose-built rehabilitation and therapy centre.

“Over the last few months we have worked hard to engage with the community to demonstrate that there is a need for this type of facility within the rural area.

“We believe our plans represent a unique opportunity to transform a disused building into an important care centre that would offer a wide range of services and support in a safe, secluded and serene


“We will now take the time to review the decision of the committee and consider our options for the future of the site.”

John Taylor, chairman of Charnock Richard Parish Council, said: “It was refused, as I understand it, because it didn’t meet the requirements within the green belt.

“In particular, the building was too large. If that’s the planning rules and they didn’t meet the planning rules, so

be it.

“The parish council’s views was that there was no objection providing it met the relevant criteria for development with the green belt and it didn’t.”

Chorley Council received 181 letters of objection to the plans.

Coun Harold Heaton, who moved a recommendation for refusal at last Tuesday night’s meeting, said: “It was too large and would have been inappropriate for the green belt.”