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Protests over new mental health unit

15th May 2006

Residents of a Yorkshire town look set to win a battle to prevent the establishment of a new mental health home.

On Thursday, councillors are set discuss the possibility of lifting planning permission at the former Holland House nursing home in Hook to allow the building to become a medium secure psychiatric unit.

But residents of the town, near Goole, are hopeful that councillors will remain steadfastly against the idea, having placed a restriction on the use of the building in 1987, stating it could only function as a nursing home.

PD Services, which owns the site, wants to use the property for accommodation of some 40 patients with personality disorders.

Roger Smith, chairman of the Holland House Action Group, told the Yorkshire Post that he believes the expected 2,500 protestors at the meeting on Thursday will help prevent the council from overturning its decision.

"It would be very unfair to build what is effectively a high-security prison there and the voice of reason suggests it should be refused, although there could be another public inquiry, when the reasons for the refusal will come under legal scrutiny – so it is not over by a long chalk," he said.