Plans for drug rehab home approved

Home will help recovering addicts in Barnstaple

NORTH Devon Council has approved plans for a new alcohol and drug rehabilitation home in Barnstaple.

An application to change the conditions attached to The Maples, in St George’s Road, was submitted to the council by Barnstaple charity The Bethany Project.

The purpose-built two-storey hostel was originally only approved for use as a home for mentally handicapped people.

The proposal was recommended for approval by the council’s planning department despite many objections by local people who were concerned about the impact the home would have on crime and disorder in the area. A petition signed by 125 people was submitted to the council.

Earlier this year, The Bethany Project bought the adjacent property, The Gables, a house with a chequered recent history of crime. The charity said it planned to control and run both properties, with on-site staff providing around-the-clock support and monitoring.

Police architectural liaison officer John Knowles described the move as a “win win situation” for police.

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“A crime hotspot has been eradicated and advanced help is available for some of the most vulnerable members of our community due to drug and alcohol abuse,” he said.

Bethany manager Craig Jones told the planning committee: “This is not a hostel, its a home – a managed and monitored environment.

“Our clients already live in our community and this will allow us to do more to help that local need; not vastly more, but a little more.

“It will give people a chance to reintegrate and have a more meaningful life.”

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