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Plans Norfolk hotel could become addiction rehab centre

PUBLISHED: 16:57 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:23 04 January 2019

The Hare and Barrel hotel in Watton which could become an rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts. Picture: Google

The Hare and Barrel hotel in Watton which could become an rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts. Picture: Google

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A hotel which closed after struggling with low occupancy rates could become a private rehabilitation centre for people suffering from addiction.

Owners of The Hare and Barrel Hotel on Brandon Road, Watton, which shut as a hotel last year, have applied for planning permission to convert the hotel into a private specialist centre for addiction which could see 17 new jobs created for the town.

Plans for the new centre include a dining room, cinema room, lounge, gym, and a meeting room for counselling and group therapy.

Jobs which could be created include counsellors, support staff, a mental health nurse, and a registered manager, alongside housekeeping, maintenance and catering employees, with all but one role likely to be full-time.

The application states: “The proposal to convert the Hare and Barrel Hotel to a specialist residential care facility for the treatment of addictions would meet a specific need for which existing services do not cater.

“Although there are currently several rehabilitation centres across the eastern region of England, these are all low-end facilities which cater predominantly for statutorily-funded clients, and people coming straight out of prison.

“This, however, is not the market that would be catered for at the application site.”

The new rehabilitation centre would not be funded by the NHS or through a charity, with the business looking to offer counselling and therapy in connection with substance and alcohol abuse and addiction as a whole, including sex and love addictions and gambling addictions.

Treatments will include behaviour therapy, music, art and meditation, group therapy, yoga, ear acupuncture and other psychiatric tools.

In the supporting documents for the application, the agent Christopher Wickham Associates states: “The application proposal is for the conversion of the existing hotel and ancillary accommodation to a specialist centre offering rehabilitation services to those suffering from addiction.”

No changes to the outside of the building and no extensions or additions to the current building are included, with the rooms from the hotel to be converted into 18 short-stay single bedrooms for recovering addicts.

The application will be considered by Breckland District Council in due course.

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