Alcohol recovery centre raises concern for local businesses

By Charlie Bourne.

Plans to build a new alcohol recovery centre in Leicester have faced objections from surrounding businesses due to the impact the centre may have on the area.Council story photo

After 11 objections and a petition containing 397 signatures, the application, on Hill Street in the city, will be brought before Leicester City Council Planning and Development Control Committee tonight (Wednesday), when the final verdict will be given by councillors.

Tony Donovan, a spokesperson for one of the main objectors, Age UK, said: “We have no problem with the recovery centre, the problem is the location.

“The Humberstone Gate area has a huge problem with street drinkers, and unfortunately some can be quite threatening.

“My concern is that when they come out they will see pubs and this will entice them back on their negative paths.”

The new recovery centre will be run by a Community Interested Company, Inclusion Healthcare, which after two years of trying to find a suitable premises for the centre, hopes it will receive approval.

Wayne Henderson, executive director for Inclusion Healthcare, said: “After a two-year process to find a building able to house a centre, this is the only area that can house a facility.

“A recovery centre offers a valuable resource to help reduce anti-social behaviour.

“These people are not a problem to people like the old or at the nursery, these are vulnerable people looking to get their lives back on track.”

But Mr Donovan, speaking of Age UK’s partnership with nearby nursery Little Angelz added: “There’s a real concern as parents may withdraw their children from the nursery, as a result of the centre. The greatest impact is on the nursery; it will be business that is lost.”

Leicester planning councillors will decide the application tonight (Wednesday). The verdict will be reported on Leicestershire Press.


Out with the old, in with the new: test out the Victoria Skatepark

By Matthew Knight

The old skatepark in Victoria Park has been replaced with a new one, with an all-round better quality park for more people to enjoy.

A special opening jam is being held this Sunday (March 19) to mark the arrival of the new skatepark.

Tskatparkhe old skatepark was very old and had only two obstacles, while the new park offers a wide range of obstacles for the new skater to the experienced.

James Smith, a skater from Leicester, said: “It’s sick to see a new skatepark in Leicester.

“For a city with such a big skating community there’s never really been a decent outdoor park to use.”

It is hoped the park will encourage more people to pick up a skateboard and take use of the facilities, and as summer is rapidly approaching, the park is getting full use.

On Sunday, skate/snow/surf shop Magic Toast will be hosting an opening jam for the skatepark, despite the park already having been open for the past month. \

The event will include a skate jam style competition with the chance of winning prizes from the store.

Mr Smith added: “The park is pretty well made I think, the ledge is quite small, but it’s pretty good for learning stuff if you’re not that confident.

“The park is quite mellow so it’s not as scary as other parks. It’s good to see a positive spending of council money.”