Colwyn Bay Drugs Rehab Centre Given Green Light

A PROPERTY giant has been given permission to buy and renovate a Colwyn Bay rehabilitation centre for drug addicts and alcoholics.

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association – part of the Pennaf Group – will spend a £1.4m Welsh Assembly Government grant on Touchstones 12, based at Norfolk House on Prince’s Drive.

The company was given the green light by Conwy’s planning committee on Wednesday.

However, Colwyn Bay councillors have expressed concern at the news, after discovering that Touchstones 12 – known as T12 – takes on people from across North Wales, not just Conwy county.

T12 have been renting the site since 2005, and that will continue, though Clwyd Alyn and the council have vowed to step in and continue the abstinence service if T12 “fails”.

But the authority insists that T12 – which houses 22 users for a maximum of six months – is not under threat.

Ceriann Tunnah, Conwy’s Substance Misuse Officer, said: “In partnership with Conwy County Council’s Supporting People Team and Community Safety Team, Pennaf Housing Group have agreed to ensure the service has a secure future.

“The service is very important to its users, their family and friends and the wider community.”

However, Bay of Colwyn councillor Bob Squire is disappointed with the planning committee’s outcome.

He said: “I fully support abstinence-based treatment and have no objection whatsoever to treating people resident in Conwy county, and those in Colwyn Bay in particular.

“But it now transpires that 70% of the occupants are from the North Wales area, which means that a much smaller number are from Conwy. By previous admission from Touchstones their success rate is 35%, so this means that 65%, or two thirds, go back out to private sector accommodation with a problem.”

Colwyn Bay councillor Chris Hughes added: “T12 are actually doing a very good job in many ways.

“The problem is that while many of those who fall off the wagon return to the area from where they were initially referred, a number don’t, and as active drug users they bring with them many problems.

“Law abiding Conwy residents are then left footing the bill for the additional policing and social services support which these addicts often need.”