A TEMPORARY twelve month license has been approved for a controversial drugs rehabilitation centre in Uxbridge.
The conditional approval was granted last night (Tuesday) by Hillingdon Council at a planning meeting which was attended by dozens of concerned residents.
The residents, backed by Uxbridge Councillor David Yarrow, gave a strong and passionate argument for why the drugs centre on Belmont Road, Uxbridge, should not be given planning permission.
Planners showed visible discomfort at having to make a legal decision on a matter they seemed morally opposed to.
From the outset, chairman of the panel and Ickenham councillor John Hensley, made it clear that Government planning legislation stated that fear of crime was not a legitimate reason for turning down planning permission, although evidence of crime is.
The proximity of the drugs rehabilitation centre to Hermitage Nursery, in Lancaster Road, was a main concern of the residents who felt that parents will be at increased risk along with children walking past from Hermitage Primary School.
Mayesta Ewer, who lives on Fairfield Road as has a four year-old daughter at Hermitage Nursery was one of five petitioners to speak against the centre at the meeting.
She said: "I have clearly heard loud and aggressive language coming from the centre, and I have also watched people behaving aggressively.
"Two community police officers were called on October 20 when an individual was behaving aggressively trying to contact somebody inside.
"Why put these people in a location where they are so close to vulnerable members of the public?"
Also speaking against the petition were the headteacher of Hermitage Nursery and the owner of Wolfs Hair and Beauty, in Belmont Road, Uxbridge, who both recounted reports of mothers and residents feeling intimidated since the centre began operating in July.
Kevin Mullins, director of the PCT, said: "Perhaps our search for a location could have been more robust, but we are happy to listen to and respond to any particular needs or issues, such as the installation of CCTV.
"Drug services in Hillingdon are getting to the point where they are regarded as excellent."
Permission was granted for the centre to remain in operation for 12 months from this Friday on three conditions, as originally suggested North Uxbridge Residents' Association.
A full risk assessment must be carried out, along with CCTV being installed outside the centre within one month.
The perimeter fence surrounding the centre must also be replaced with a fence which affords the public better protection than the current one.
Residents have also been instructed to log all incidents of crime and intimidation with the police, and in 12 months when planners will reconvene, if they consider crime to have risen around the area as a result of the individuals attending the drugs rehabilitation centre they will have the power to shut it down.