A PLANNING application for a controversial “rehab facility” opposed by local residents was deferred so it can be heard together with subsequent proposals for the site.
Former residential care home Sandy Lodge on Dyserth Road, Rhyl, is being turned into a “rehab hospital” by Medirose Healthcare.
The application before Denbighshire council’s planning committee on Wednesday focused on getting permission for an extension of two additional bedrooms on the first floor, two fire escape stair enclosures and an entrance canopy.
A public group with 600 members has been set up on Facebook, the Sandy Lodge Opposition Group (SLOG), which is scrutinising every aspect of the change of use of the premises.
A petition opposing the move has also been set up and has almost 270 signatories.
Local MP James Davies has also raised questions about the scheme after local residents queried the suitability of the premises and the location, which is in a residential district of the seaside town.
On the Medirose website it explains the company “provides assessment, treatment and holistic services for adults with mental health issues”.
SLOG had been unhappy the applicant, Mr Sohail Qureshi Kuklous, was putting in “piecemeal applications” and requested the proposal was deferred so it could be heard with other plans due for submission.
The documents submitted by the applicant described the intention to turn the 22-bed home in to a 19 -bed facility with en-suite rooms that comply with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) standards.
Planning documents also acknowledged the agent was “aware of concerns locally, including those raised by local county councillors, whom they have engaged with”.
It added: “The application does not include change of use as the site is permitted to be used as a C2 Residential Institution.
“The C2 Residential Institution planning use class covers care homes, hospitals and convalescent homes.
“The applicant’s care model still falls within the C2 use class. The site will be used in a similar way to a rehab hospital, independent hospital, or rehab facility.
“Some patients can be admitted under the mental health act for a brief period, just like certain patients in nursing or care homes are detained or restricted under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, for a period.”
Cllr Brian Jones asked the planning committee to defer the application so it could be heard together with subsequent proposals.
Planning officer Paul Mead said there was no reason not to hear this application in its own right but confirmed a second planning application was “in the pipeline”.
Cllr Jones’ proposal was passed unanimously and the application will be heard in tandem with any other applications for the site at a later date.