Day centre is a ‘threat to human rights’

The site of the proposed centre
The site of the proposed centre

A PLANNING row looks set to erupt as Wigan residents oppose a new adult day care centre because they claim it will conflict with their human rights.

Council officers have recommended the plans for the new dementia care facility be given the green light despite the protests of neighbours on Hawthorn Avenue in Standish.

The matter will go before the local authority’s planning committee tomorrow after three councillors expressed concerns over the plans.

Planning documents show proposals to adapt the three-bedroomed bungalow to cater for eight people with dementia, assisted by two carers.

Hawthorn Avenue is described as a small cul-de-sac containing nine additional properties, with six neighbours writing letters of objection.

Their opposition relates to “potential for damage from increased use” as the road leading to it is “inadequate for emergency vehicles and has dangerous access from Chorley Road.”

And “there will be a loss of privacy and security from visitors on this quiet access road conflicting with residents’ rights under the Human Rights Act.”

Also included in the list of objections is “there will be an increase in noise and disturbance.”

But planning officers are set to disregard these concerns because of over-whelming demand for day care facilities.

The report states: “The importance of providing improved care for dementia sufferers has recently been highlighted...and the proposal seeks to provide a facility which would assist in the care of people with dementia.

“With an aging population it is inevitable that demand for such facilities will also continue to increase.”

In response to fears over increased access and traffic, a condition has been placed on the approval that the number of visitors will be restricted to five at any one time.

The councillors named as expressing “concerns regarding the appropriateness of the use of the property” are Standish representative Gareth Fairhurst and Aspull, Whelley and New Springs Labour members Ron Conway and Chris Ready.

The report concludes: “This application requires a balanced assessment between the benefits in providing a facility to assist dementia sufferers, and for which there is an identified lack of adequate provision; and the potential impacts on highway safety and 
amenity.”