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 photoLeicester 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.

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