Treatment centre for addicts under fire

CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn a former hotel in a remote Angus glen into a drug rehabilitation clinic are set to be rejected by local councillors.

The proposals by Renaissance People, a Glasgow-based company, to open a treatment centre at Lochside Lodge in the hamlet of Bridgend of Lintrathen, near Kirriemuir, sparked a storm of protest.

Now a report by planning officials, to go before Angus Council's development standards committee next Tuesday, is recommending that the planning application be refused.

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The council has received 135 objections to the plans and a 1,423-signature petition, opposing the development.

Protestors claimed the clinic, aimed at helping up to ten recovering drug and alcohol addicts at a time, would have damaged tourism and recreation and raised fears of increased crime and antisocial behaviour.

Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, says in his report that there is "legitimate public concern" over the plans.

He adds: "I consider that the relatively isolated nature of the community and the potential for persons recovering from drug and alcohol dependency to come into close contact with school children is such that public concern regarding the nature of the use is understandable."