A THREE Towns SNP councillor is calling on the Scottish Government to pause plans for a new drug rehab centre in Seabank until after consultation with residents.

Stevenston councillor Davina McTiernan has written to Angela Constance MSP, Minister for Drug Policy, asking her to pause development of a National Family Service Centre at the former Seabank Nursing Home until residents of Saltcoats have been able to have their say – with none of the councillors serving the area briefed on the plan.

We reported last week how there would be ‘no community consultation’ over the proposed national drug rehabilitation centre in Saltcoats – because planning permission is not required to convert the existing care site into the facility.

Cllr McTiernan said: “Last week, in response to concerns raised by SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson over the lack of consultation, the Minister said she had spoken with councillors in North Ayrshire.

"However, I have since established that there were only two Labour councillors at the Zoom meeting where the matter was discussed.

“None of the councillors representing the area where the rehab unit would be located were consulted.

“Scotland has an unacceptably-high level of drug misuse and addiction, so facilities such as the residential rehab unit are essential in tackling the problem and delivering care for people. Having said that, my concerns are that there has been no consultation with local people.

“The proposed residential unit would enable women suffering from addiction to be treated in a facility that would also accommodate their children, meaning families would not have to be broken-up while care is provided.

"What I am asking the Minister to do is pause implementation of the rehab unit until the whole project can be explained to local residents, and their concerns addressed.”

A spokesperson for Phoenix Futures, said: “As the property has planning permission to operate as a care home, Phoenix Futures has submitted an application with North Ayrshire Council as part of a process to confirm planning permission isn’t required.

“We are looking forward to being in touch with the local community and their representatives in the near future so that our neighbours are well informed.”