Drugs rehabilitation centre: Opposition mounts against plans to convert family-run bed & breakfast

SCHOOLS and businesses have voiced their concerns over the proposed drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Dunmow.

The Dunmow and District Chamber of Commerce are unanimously against the proposals to convert a bed and breakfast in Stortford Road - just yards from two primary schools and numerous public houses and restaurants.

“We are concerned about the change of use to a rehabilitation clinic,” said Chamber membership secretary Terry Laplain.

“In the plans they have said it will be an up-market clinic like Priory but if it does get the change of use granted will it stay up-market.”

The Chamber of Commerce also expressed concern about losing another bed and breakfast in the town.

“With the Saracen’s Head out of action, to lose another bed and breakfast that has quite a few rooms would be detrimental to the town,” said Mrs Laplain.

Jalsa Ghar owners Zia Chowdhury and Omar Shorif were the first business in town to submit an official complaint about the centre which would be opposite their restaurant.

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In a letter to Uttlesford District Council Mr Chowdhury and Mr Shorif said: “We are concerned our staff and customers may be at risk through the actions of clients to the proposed centre and that our property is going to be put at unnecessary risk of damage.

“A residential centre of this sort may have a detrimental effect on the Jalsa Ghar business and the local area as a whole, with an increased risk of crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Great Dunmow Primary has also join the campaign opposing the centre which would be located between the town’s two primary schools.

A spokesman from the school said: “The teachers and governors are aware of the planning application and are taking the matter ‘very seriously’. The school will be holding a meeting early next week for parents to air any concerns they may have over the application.”

? E-mail concerns to planning@uttlesford.gov.uk quoting reference UTT/0646/11/FUL. Deadline is May 26.

? E-mail letters for publication to editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk