December 8 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Care chiefs met with residents of a Norfolk town to try and allay their fears over plans to build a 20-bed complex for mental health patients.
Dennis Bacon, managing director at care provider Keys Hill Park, met Hingham residents at Lincoln Hall to discuss plans to build the complex in Hardingham Road to provide supported accommodation for people with mental health and learning difficulties, such as bi-polar.
The plans had already been given the go ahead by South Norfolk Council’s development management committee on October 17, but residents and local doctor Shaun Conway had raised concerns the development would increase traffic problems on Hardingham Road at peak times, creating problems for school buses which regularly use the road.
Mr Bacon said a number of the questions focused on the highways issues, while another resident asked why he was there given the plans had already been approved.
He explained he was attending because he had been invited by the town council, but also to answer questions from the community.
He added: “The majority of the people were opposed to the care complex. I would not say it was overly constructive, but we were answering questions that were put to us.”
He believed the residents wanted to preserve the “status quo” in the village, adding: “I was rather hoping that people would understand that the care complex would enrich their community, increasing the number of people living there.
“When you have people with mental health issues living in the community and you stop and fraternise with them it helps to break down barriers.”
Wroxham parents Mike and Linda Hall have written in support of the care complex after seeing the treatment their son had received at another Keys Hill Park care complex in Wroxham.
In the letter, they state their son was born with an inoperable brain tumour and suffers from epilepsy and learning difficulties, but a loving home was not enough so they needed to find a suitable place for him to receive the care and support he needs, which Keys Hill Park provided.
They said: “Due to the immense skill, support and environment of Keys Hill Park staff our son is now becoming a happy and self-confident young man who at last feels good about himself.”