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Plans to build rehabilitation centre withdrawn after more than 100 public comments

PUBLISHED: 11:17 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:02 20 May 2019

The Hare and Barrel hotel in Watton which could have become an rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts. Picture: Google

The Hare and Barrel hotel in Watton which could have become an rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts. Picture: Google

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Plans to build a rehabilitation centre in a Norfolk town's closed hotel have been withdrawn after more than 100 public comments.

Hare & Barrel Hotel, Watton, when it was open in 2009. Picture: IAN BURTHare & Barrel Hotel, Watton, when it was open in 2009. Picture: IAN BURT

Plans had been submitted to Breckland Council to transform The Hare and Barrel Hotel on Brandon Road, Watton, into a private specialist centre for addiction which could have seen 17 new jobs created for the town.

The hotel shut last year and since has stood empty. Plans for the new centre included a dining room, cinema room, lounge, gym and a meeting room for counselling and group therapy.

Treatments would have includes behaviour therapy, music, art and meditation, group therapy, yoga, ear acupuncture and other psychiatric tools.

But the owners of the hotel have pulled out of the decision before it went to the council.

About 136 comments have be published on Breckland Council's website. The majority of objections call for the hotel to be renovated and opened.

One of the objectors, Katherine Pathiranage, said: "The house prices would dramatically drop if a rehab clinic opened here, the security of houses would need to be looked at.

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"Knowing the intended use it would be better if a more remote building was used."

And Denis Parish said: "This is an absolute disgrace and must not go ahead, we live opposite, young children have to pass this to go to school you are [Breckland Council] completely brainless to even consider this application."

And Christpher Robotham said: "I think we have got our fare share of idiots in Watton so please turn it down."

But the plans did receive comments in support.

Denise Erlington said: "It would be a big shame to see this building sit empty so I urge people to get behind this and start thinking about the Future of Watton and it's people.

"I support this application as I believe this may for once give Watton a good name,"

And Janine Kamran said: "We should be doing everything in our power to support a proposal of this type, what on earth has this got to do with kids walking to school or increased crime?

"There's a prison 10 minutes up the road with plenty residential surrounding it. This hasn't stopped properties being sold."

The owners of the hotel declined to comment.

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