Controversial plans for alcohol recovery centre approved

By Charlie Bourne.

Controversial plans for an alcohol recovery centre in Leicester were approved this week despite passionate objections from a nursery next door.

Council story photo

The proposed site of the alcohol recovery centre

Leicester City Council Planning and Development Control Committee approved the scheme on Hill Street, in the city, on Wednesday, over the objections of Little Angelz nursery.

The objectors’ main concern was the location of the centre, as parents and staff alike feared for the safety of the children. The nursery feared parents may stop sending their children there as a result of the approval, which could threaten its viability.

Councillors took into account the objections, but approved the plan as the Inclusion Healthcare centre may aid in improving the anti-social behaviour in the area, by helping street drinkers.

Councillor Patrick Kitterick, who spoke on behalf of objectors, said: “Services like this are vital, but they bring problems, it will close the nursery quicker than you can lock the front door.

“With 30 children at the nursery, it wouldn’t be unfortunate if it closed, it would be a disaster.”

Before the verdict of approval was given, applicants Inclusion Healthcare emphasised how a new recovery centre would help to solve the problem of anti-social behaviour in the surrounding area, as street drinkers would no longer be lingering on the streets.

Wayne Henderson, executive director for Inclusion Healthcare, said: “Inclusion Healthcare has acknowledged concerns with street drinkers.

“Our clients do not usually use public houses, clients use off licences and then use the Anchor centre.”

But Ashleigh Burne, member of staff at Little Angelz nursery, said: “Working at a nursery, staff strive to help children reach their full potential.

“We fear for the children due to second hand smoke, foul language and anti-social behaviour that will come with the centre’s approval.”

Despite the heartfelt and emotional pleas, it was not enough to prevent the approval of the centre, which now has three years to begin its development.

Crofters Drive residents rejoice as proposal to allow two-way access is refused


By Kerri Stevenson

Residents of Crofters Drive, Leicester rejoiced on Wednesday evening after a proposal to allow two-way access to the street’s bowling club was refused by Leicester City Council.

This decision was made during a tense council meeting in which objecting residents put forward emotionally charged arguments and the applicant, Goodwood Bowls Club secretary Andrew Ward, defended the scheme.

The proposal was refused by the council’s Planning and Development Control Committee on the grounds of the effect on the amenity of local people, despite Mr Ward putting forward an argument focusing on road safety and the welfare of cyclists and pedestrians.

Resident Elaine Bussey told the meeting: “My main concern with the proposal is safety being compromised due to increased traffic entering and exiting, which would affect not only those living on Crofters Drive but also the members of the bowling club.

“You cannot endanger residents in the area by allowing two-way vehicular access.”

Mrs Bussey was one of 14 objectors raising concerns about the proposal regarding the highway safety and amenity issues that may arise if it was approved.

She also put forward suggestions for other minor changes to be made, including placing double yellow lines on the road to make it safer for local children on their way to and from school.

Councillor Teresa Aldred further reinforced Mrs Bussey’s argument by putting forward her own opinions on the matter, saying: “Families moved onto Crofters Drive knowing that it was a safe and quiet area to live in.

“Residents have raised many concerns that they have about the safety issues the proposal might bring and these concerns need to be addressed.

“What I want to say is: what is the reason for changing things when what we have works so well already?”