A LOCAL councillor has revealed he’s been inundated with complaints about the plans for a national drug rehab centre in Saltcoats.

Councillor Jimmy Miller said his phone has been ringing ‘off the hook’ since the Herald revealed last week that the former Seabank Care Home, in Saltcoats town centre, has been earmarked as the site for the new unit.

The rehab centre will be for recovering addicts and their families from across Scotland.

And while Councillor Miller is happy that the centre will be based in North Ayrshire - especially as the area has been highlighted as a major drugs blackspot - he believes the Seabank site is not suitable.

He told the Herald: “I’m all in favour of this coming to North Ayrshire, it is much needed.

"My worry is about the location.

“It is not far from the new ASN school, the health centre and the sheltered housing.

“Because it was a care home before, the applicants don’t need to apply for a change of use.

"This is a Scottish Government led project and it smells like a done deal to me.

“However our feelings, as councillors we can’t change it.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook and there’s talk of a petition.

“I’d just like to point out to residents that it has nothing to do with the council whatsoever.

"The people who are putting this in place are the Scottish Government.

“We are getting a lot of complaints about it being situated in the former care home, but this has nothing to do with the council’s Labour leadership at all.

“If people have an issue with it, they should contact the SNP Government or MSP Kenny Gibson.

“I will be contacting planning and registering my concerns over this.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “In her statement to parliament on Tuesday the Minister for Drugs Policy announced projects which have received grant funding from the Recovery Fund to increase the capacity of residential rehab in addition to the National Family Service Centre in North Ayrshire which was announced in August.

“The Minister recently met with councillors from North Ayrshire and Phoenix Futures to discuss consultation and plans for the National Family Service, and was reassured that Phoenix have robust community consultation processes and have committed to working with all Alcohol and Drug Partnership Areas across Scotland, Children and Families Social Work services and all relevant stakeholders to maximise the benefits of this service.”