Fears over ‘mental health unit’ plans in Conisbrough

Artists impression of the new centre at the former Talisman in Conisbrough.

Artists impression of the new centre at the former Talisman in Conisbrough.

Plans to bulldoze a former pub to make way for a hospital to treat people with mental health issues has sparked protests in a Doncaster village.

Nottinghamshire-based firm Eden Futures want to demolish the derelict Talisman pub in Conisbrough and build a hospital on the site to “support adults with learning and mental health disabilities.”

The move has sparked concern from residents about the type of people who could receive treatment there.

Doncaster’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) group, which is supporting The Star’s Save Our Pubs campaign, also bemoaned the loss of another town boozer.

Chairman Bob Kiddle 65, of Auckland Road, Wheatley, said: “It is sad to see yet another pub is set to go. There are far too many going to the bulldozer in Doncaster when they should be saved as community assets.”

A planning application outlines the firm’s intention to flatten the Chestnut Grove site to make way for a two storey block of eight ‘supported living apartments’ and a single storey building of two apartments for staff.

Eden Futures has not given specific details about the type of patients who could receive treatment at the facility.

However, they indicated service users would be similar to those at one of their other sites - Bestwood Independent Hospital in Nottinghamshire - which takes in people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act.

People detained under the act are those deemed to be ‘putting their own safety or someone else’s at risk’ and can be kept in a hospital against their wishes. They could suffer from such serious conditions as schizophrenia.

Eden Futures said the plan would be for patients to progress from the “higher level of care in the hospital, to more independent living that will be provided in the two proposed bungalows and potentially back into the community.“

A previous application for three pairs of semi-detached bungalows was granted in 2011, this latest application was submitted because of changes to the development’s design layout.

Residents outlined their concerns in six letters of objection sent to Doncaster Council.

Amy Oxby, of Old Road, Conisbrough, said: “We would like to make the village a better place to live in and bring our children up not make it worse.”

Becky Nuttall, of Bolton Street, Denaby Main, added the area was “very family orientated” and “not suitable for a half-way house.”

Eden Futures said government policy states “individuals with learning disabilities and mental health needs are supported within the community” and the firm was “responding to this requirement.”

The firm added there would be ten service users, cared for by more than 50 staff.

In a statement, they said: “The wellbeing of both service users and the local community are paramount and this has been carefully incorporated into the design.

“Eden Futures is an open and transparent organisation and have been sharing information with local elected councillors.”

Residents have until September 3 to have their say on the proposals and can write to the council. There is no planning meeting date set yet but a decision is due to be made before October 24.

The Doncaster Star launched its Save Our Pubs campaign earlier this year because of concerns over the number of community pubs in the borough which have closed down.


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