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Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Plans for drug and alcohol rehab centre on industrial estate approved

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (Pic: RCTCBC)

A DRUG and alcohol rehab centre is coming to an industrial estate in the Cynon Valley after plans were approved.

Plans for the change of use of Fifth Avenue Guest House and bungalow on Hirwaun Industrial Estate to a residential drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre were given the green light by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, February 8.

Hirwaun Industrial Estate In Hirwaun (Pic: Google Maps)

The planning report said that the proposed change of use will be carried out within the fabric of the existing building and no physical internal or external changes would be required for the proposed use.

The centre will be operated by a Christian charity called Vision of Hope that successfully rehabilitates ex-offenders and those suffering from drugs and alcohol addiction, the report said.

Residents of the centre will be reintegrated back into society through education and volunteering and the charity currently operates a successful facility elsewhere and the proposal will allow their relocation.

It will accommodate up to 20 people and will predominantly be operated from the main guest house building.

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The wider site is currently used to keep a small number of animals and the applicant has confirmed that they will continue to use the land for this purpose to help support the residents with the animals playing an important part in their therapy.

There was one letter of objection which said there is no need for such a facility in the local area and residents would rather see tourism brought there instead and that the facility would be tucked amongst a developing area with the new road expected to bring new tourist ideas and the proposal risks such plans from happening.

They said the proposal was out of place and that it would serve those from far outside the valleys and would not benefit the area.

But in recommending approval planning officers said that while the application site is situated outside of the defined settlement boundary it has been operated as a guest house (use class C1) for many years and, given that the proposed use can be carried out within the existing building without any building works or alterations, it is not considered that the proposal to change the use would result in a significant change to the overall character of the site.

They added: “There is some concern with regards to the secluded location of the site. However it is accepted that such locations can aid in the rehabilitation of individuals by removing them from society and reducing any potential for temptation to revert back to previous routines and habits.

“Furthermore, given the location of site in relation to surrounding residential and commercial properties, it is not considered that the use would be detrimental to the amenity of existing neighbouring residents and businesses.”