Trowbridge families stage protest over mental health care flats

Wiltshire Times: Angry residents assemble outside Greenwood House, right, to protest at Maplyn’s plans Angry residents assemble outside Greenwood House, right, to protest at Maplyn’s plans

Trowbridge residents came together on Saturday to protest against plans for a 24-hour mental health centre to be housed in Green Lane with the organisation behind the plans claiming it has nothing to hide.

Around 120 people called for Wiltshire Council to reject Maplyn Care Services’ plans to convert Greenwood House into six flats.

The company wants to home people with long-term mental health conditions for up to two years.

Richard Hall, who lives next door with his partner Kate Drew and children Jasmine, 12, Tom, 10, and Emilia, eight, said: “Maplyn and Wiltshire Council have refused to offer any real information about the people to be housed here. This has meant residents have had to rely on their own research based on Maplyn’s advertising.

“This is heavily punctuated with medical jargon and clouded by the psychiatric medical profession’s desire to play down the threats and problems people with these conditions cause to the communities they live in.”

Plans were submitted in December but withdrawn in favour of Maplyn’s new, more detailed, application.

Peter Evans, Maplyn’s director of care, said: “It is quite sad that there’s been opposition from the community and we’ll look to work with residents to provide education about what we do.

“I can understand where the initial fear came from so I offered to speak to the residents and found their choice to rebuff that offer very strange.”

Mr Hall said: “We discussed meeting with Mr Evans but we felt that he would tell us what we wanted to hear and we’d have nothing to hold him to account.”

See the proposals at www.wiltshire.gov.uk.

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