Drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre: Opposition hits back at addicts

PUBLISHED: 14:50 02 June 2011

Proposed Alcohol and Drugs Rehab Unit.

Dunmow

May 17, 2011

Photograph by Michael Boyton

Pic shows: The B&B that owners want to turn into an Alcohol and Drugs Rehab Unit.

Proposed Alcohol and Drugs Rehab Unit. Dunmow May 17, 2011 Photograph by Michael Boyton Pic shows: The B&B that owners want to turn into an Alcohol and Drugs Rehab Unit.

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OPPOSERS to a proposed drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre have hit out at claims they are "naive".

In response to an article in last week’s Broadcast, Jo Murphy and Karen Steed, who set up a campaign group to battle plans to convert Harwood Guest House in Stortford Road, shrugged off the allegations made by former alcoholics that their concerns are “unwarranted”.

In a letter to the Broadcast the pair said: “We are not naïve enough to deny the drug problem that already exists in Dunmow and are fully aware that one third of all crime is drug related.

“However, we would like to remind readers that this rehabilitation centre will not serve the local population. It has been made clear in the application that this will not be for the use of Dunmow or its residents as it is aimed at ‘distinguished’ addicts.”

They also made it clear that those opposing the plans are more than “just a few local mothers”. The Chamber of Commerce, schools, elected councillors, traders and business owners have all thrown their support behind scrapping the change.

The action group accepts the need for a centre, but not in this area.

“A rejection of this application will not deny help to the needy,” they argue. “Similar help is already available at a number of establishments in Chelmsford. These centres currently have vacancies suggesting that more are not actually needed.”

Mrs Murphy and Mrs Steed are also wary that a change of use would take away much needed accommodation in the town.

“Where will all the visitors stay if we keep losing accommodation? With the Flitch Trials next year we need to promote a vibrant town that people will be encouraged to visit.

“The centre will not bring trade, income or tourism to the town.

“In fact what the benefit to the Dunmow community will be has yet to be explained.”

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