Green light for White Hart mental health centre plans

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a 32-bed mental health centre in West Bletchley have been given the green light.

Much to the dismay of various campaign groups the plans were approved at a planning committee meeting held on Thursday night.

Councillor Veronica Belcher, chairman of West Bletchley Council, said: “West Bletchley Council is extremely disappointed by Milton Keynes Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the development of the White Hart site.

“Many, many residents objected to this proposed development and the White Hart Campaign Committee worked extraordinarily hard to make sure those objections were heard.

“As a council, we gave our full support to the campaign in as many practical ways as possible but despite all this effort the outcome was not as we would have wished.”

The male only site, referred to by developers as a mental health rehabilitation centre, will have room for 32 occupants between the ages of 18 and 65.

Those living there will be in the final stage of their recovery where their needs are based on rebuilding life skills with treatments and therapies to help them return to independent living.

A statement, released last week by the Cambian Group, which will run the centre, said: “Cambian recognises that there are often anxieties due to different understandings, knowledge, and attitudes towards people who are mentally unwell.

“The Cambian Group is committed to a policy of openness and engagement with the communities in which it works and we look to build a long term, successful relationship in Bletchley, as we have done elsewhere, with each of our existing services.”

Naomi Sinclair, chairman of the White Hart Campaign Group, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to everybody who helped, encouraged and supported us during the campaign, with special thanks to residents who gave up their valuable time to help raise awareness and deliver leaflets over the hectic Christmas period.

“I know there are a lot of residents who are very disappointed with the Milton Keynes planning committee, who in our opinion had already made their decision prior to the meeting.

“We are now awaiting the Final Decision notice to give us clarity on the conditions passed with the approval in order to ensure the applicant complies with them.”