Hundreds sign petition to stop 'secure institutional facility' development in Ashby

By Graham Hill

3rd Mar 2021 | Local News

A petition signed by over 770 residents objecting to the proposed new 'secure institution' in Ashby has been sent to North West Leicestershire District Council.

Rushcliffe Care Group wants to convert the Ridgway Road site into a 'secure residential institution care facility'.

Last week, we reported that Ashby de la Zouch Town Council has renewed its objection to the plans on the grounds of a lack of precise information about what it will be used for - and what form it might take in the future without the need to apply for planning permission if this application is agreed.

Ashby de la Zouch Town Council rejects Loudon House plans again.

One of the main concerns for local residents is the building's proximity to Ashby Willesley Primary School.

Now, a petition containing 771 names has been lodged with North West Leicestershire District Council along with the reasons behind it.

A letter on behalf of residents says: "To oppose the intended use of Loudoun house land on Ridgway Road, Ashby de la Zouch as a secure residential institution with the licence of C2A. Including building a purpose built building following demolition of original building.

"Why is this important?

"Respect is acknowledged towards the need for institutions like this, plus the work of those in the mental health sector, but close proximity to residential homes and educational establishments proves a worrying situation.

"We want to oppose the plans for a C2A licenced secure residential institution on the site of Loudoun house.

"The original building was run by the Rushcliffe Group that was closed down by officials.

"The plans are greatly objected to by many including the Labour councillor David Bigby and the only GP practice in Ashby, Castle Medical Group on Burton Road.

"The C2A licences allows for the land to be used as a - Secure Residential Institution - to be used for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.

"Also when this has been granted it will allow for the use to be changed easily to accommodate those which pose more potential harm to young children especially.

"Loudoun House is a registered address on Ridgway Road, Ashby de la zouch which can be largely seen on Tamworth Road.

"This area is less than a 10 minute walk to the large primary school, Ashby Willesley, that accommodates over 300 children.

"There are also many elderly care homes barely the same distance too.

"The large residential estate of Willesley has a large proportion of children that attend Ashby Willesley along with older children going to the various high schools in Ashby, like Ivanhoe College.

"So they will be crossing paths with this building on a daily basis.

"This C2A licence makes it more unsafe for children to walk to and from school on their own.

"Regardless to how secure it states it would be, there is always potential for someone to leave unauthorised and it leaves little confidence.

"The safety of all residents for all the above mentioned reasons are of a very high concern as well

as the impact it would have on the area.

"The land would be much better sold and the C2A secure residential institution would be much better built in a more appropriate location.

"The objections to the site use as a c2a secure residential institution need to be addressed and denied."

The district council has also received details of Ashby de la Zouch Town Council's objections which read: "Incompatible & unacceptable use of facility, no risk assessment for planned facility provided as requested, need for facility not identified. Also, concerns regarding class C2A meaning owners could use the facility as a detention centre, young offenders institution."

That followed on from an objection made last year when a meeting was requested with Loudon House officials to try and find out the nature of the people who would be housed there Ashby de la Zouch Town Council objects to care facility plans.

At the time, in February 2020, Rushcliffe Care Group issued a statement aiming to allay fears that 'convicted criminals or drug addicts' might be housed there Loudon House facility developers deny site will be used as a halfway house for convicted criminals.

     

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