King David fights drug centre plan

Manchester's King David schools are fighting plans to turn a nursing home on the edge of the KD campus into a drug-rehabilitation centre.

Owners of the Westwood private nursing home on Polygon Road, Crumpsall - which has many Jewish residents - want to close it down and redevelop it as a residential drug- and alcohol-rehabilitation centre. Local residents were alerted to the plans at a meeting last Thursday.

"There is a lot of opposition to it by the residents and the school," King David High governors' chair Joshua Rowe told the JC. "It is unlikely to improve the area. It is certainly worrying and a cause for concern. The school and local residents are opposing the plans."

KD infants school chair Simon Rosenthal reported that "no one at the meeting felt that the suggested security measures to be put in place at the new home were adequate.

"Local residents are concerned that the home would encourage drug users in the area, which is already a high-crime area and be situated on the doorstep of King David and its 1,400-plus children."

It is understood that Westwood does not need to apply for planning permission to change its use.

A director said that "Westwood will still be registered as a nursing home, but the client group will be changing to provide nursing for past and present drug and alcohol users. There is a local community drugs and alcohol issue that needs to be addressed.

"There will be a zero tolerance policy towards anyone taking drugs on the premises."

    Last updated: 4:42pm, August 17 2009