PLANS to turn a derelict pub into a ‘state of the art’ mental health rehabilitation unit have caused an outcry in West Bletchley.
Already the parish council is calling for the plans for the old White Hart to be scrapped, saying the site is “inappropriate” and would be better used for OAP bungalows.
Meanwhile residents are fearing the worst about the people who would live at the 32-bed all male hostel.
“All we know is that there will be mental health patients living there. We’re worried there might be sex offenders,” said one, who would not be named.
The proposal comes from Cambian, one of the UK’s largest providers of specialist services for people with learning difficulties or people needing mental health rehabilitation.
The company works with the NHS and Primary Care Trusts to provide care and therapy for its patients.
“Each patient works with a multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists occupational therapists, behavioural therapists, nurses, social workers and family members to build the skills and insight to return safely to the community,” said chief operating officer Mike McQuaid.
He added: “We recognise that there can be concerns about the nature of our residents.”
In a bid to allay these concerns the company is holding a public exhibition on November 17 between 2pm and 8pm at Rectory Cottages in Bletchley’s Church Green Road.
The White Hart pub was severely damaged by fire several years ago and is described as a “hazardous structure” by Campian.
Two years ago another company applied for planning permission to build a residential care home there; though Milton Keynes councillors refused, consent was won on appeal.
The same consent, C2, would apply to Campian’s plans, though the council would have to approve the new two and three-storey structure,
West Bletchley Parish council vice chairman, Elaine Wales, said: “The proposed development is inappropriate. It is in a residential area, close to local schools and on a very small site.
“Residents are rightly alarmed. It would be a poor location with poor parking and it is difficult to see how it could be secure.”