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Hundreds protest at plan for drug centre next to Butetown school

HUNDREDS of Butetown residents have signed a petition to stop a drug rehab centre from opening next to a local primary school.

Change, Grow, Live, a charity which provides counselling for people with alcohol, drug and mental health problems, has been given planning permission to convert the council-owned former PDSA building on Bute Street into a rehabilitation centre.

The old PDSA building. Source: Google Maps

The old PDSA building.
Source: Google Maps

At a community meeting on Friday, residents expressed anger at the proposal because it would be next to the St Mary the Virgin of Wales Primary School.

One mum, who lives in Butetown, said: “We are not going to have that outside our school. I’m already to scared to leave my flat in the morning because there are people buying and selling drugs in the hallway.”

Around 650 residents have signed a petition so far in an attempt to stop the rehabilitation centre from opening.

The petition comes after nearly 8,000 heroin needles were found on the streets of Butetown over the past year. Residents at the meeting expressed concern over the amount of drug addicts who live in and visit the area.

Last week they protested outside the old PDSA building.

Residents protesting outside the PDSA building. Source: Twitter - @BeckJoanna

Residents protesting outside the PDSA building.

Plaid Cymru councillors have also put forward a motion to stop the proposal from going ahead.

Councillor Neil McEvoy of Plaid Cymru, said: “The motion, moved by myself and second by Coun Tariq Awan, says ‘The council agree that following the widespread opposition and lack of public consultation, the County of Cardiff will not sell or lease the building for it to be used as a drug rehabilitation centre’.”

“There isn’t a place for this centre in Butetown and community support holds the most weight,” he added.

Cardiff Council has been approached for a comment.

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