RESIDENTS have mounted a campaign to have a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre moved from their neighbourhood.

More than 100 residents living in Southview Road, Vange, and the surrounding roads, have signed the petition against the Open Road centre, which will run a counselling service for drug addicts, alcoholics and their families, if planning permission is granted.

The Echo revealed last month that the centre had been providing counselling, and a spokesman said at the time the centre would only be used as an office, until the application was processed.

Chris Wallington, 60, of Bull Close, Vange, has organised the protest, and said: “We are not against what is done in the centre, but we do not want it on our doorstep.

“We think a town centre location would be more appropriate.

“There was no consultation before the centre opened and many residents are worried about needles being discarded with so many children in the area.

“The people who run the centre are lovely, but this is not the right place for a service like that.”

Labour ward councillor Daniel Munyambu is helping the residents and will be handing in their petition at the planning meeting when the application is decided.

He said: “If my residents come to me for help on a matter that concerns them, it is my duty to do all that I can to investigate that matter.”

No one was available for comment from Open Road at the time of going to press.

Clive Simpson, manager of planning services, said: “The drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre opened in June, but without formal planning permission.

“The operators originally thought they did not require planning permission.

“They have subsequently submitted a planning application, which is currently under consideration and will in due course be reported to the council’s development control and traffic management committee.

“The council has not pursued enforcement action as this temporary breach of regulations does not warrant immediate action.

“However, this may be reviewed following the determination of the planning application.”

The application is still at the consultation stage and a date for a decision has not yet been set.