Resident fury at unit plans

Councillors, parish councillors and residents gather at the site of a proposed mental health unit on Barnsley Road, Scawsby. Picture: Marie Caley D5006MC

Councillors, parish councillors and residents gather at the site of a proposed mental health unit on Barnsley Road, Scawsby. Picture: Marie Caley D5006MC

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Angry residents are campaigning to stop plans to build a children’s mental health unit amid concerns young patients may pose a security risk.

The controversial scheme involves building a low security unit in Scawsby to treat children who suffer from a range of mental health issues, including some who may have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

There is said to be a need for the facility in Doncaster as local children from primary school age up to 18 who are in need of treatment currently have to travel outside the area.

Bosses at Riverside Healthcare, which is behind the plans, say patients who are deemed well enough will be allowed out into the community unsupervised.

More than 100 people have signed a petition in a bid to block the planning application amid concerns patients may pose a security risk to children who attend primary schools close to the proposed site on Barnsley Road.

Mum-of-two Julie Rawlings, 49, of Westerdale Road, said: “We understand people need to have treatment but it is just not the right place for a facility like this.”

Brodsworth Parish Council, Sprotbrough and Cusworth Parish Council, and ward councillors Kevin Rodgers, Bill Mordue and Deborah Hutchinson have all opposed the scheme.

It would be near Saltersgate Junior and Infant schools, Rosedale Primary School and Ridgewood School.

Dr Richard Pearson, medical director of Riverside, accepted some patients may have criminal records, but added they would not be allowed into the community if they posed any danger.

He said: “It makes sense to put the facility in a built-up area because it’s about community integration.”