Development will 'not be a secure unit', care home firm tells concerned residents

First published in News by

REASSURANCES have been given to villagers in Almondsbury who feared a high-security unit for unstable patients may be built in the middle of their peaceful cul-de-sac.

Options Group, the firm behind a project to open a care home for autistic adults in Oaklands Drive, has put residents’ concerns to rest explaining that the proposed facility would in no way place them or their families at risk.

Having examined in details the plans villagers were led to believe last month that the complex would house dangerous individuals with severe behavioural problems.

They were also under the impression that the building would be enclosed in barbed wire and under 24-hour CCTV surveillance.

Options Group head of adult autism services Russell Leese said: "It is not a secure and never will be. Nobody who lives there will be a danger to Almondsbuy residents. There will be a fence around the facilities but it is the same that you would see around a house.

"We just want to reassure people that there is nothing to be fearful about."

If the project is approved by councillors when they come to debate the application next year, the facilities will become home to a maximum of 26 adults with autism.

The aim of the service will be to provide each one of them the skills and tools to eventually live as independently as possible within their communities.

"We try to get people to live as independently as possible," Mr Leese added. "Many people transition through our services very successfully. We do have a number of people who will be with us for a significant space of time. And we’ve got people who will be with us for a short pace of time. They then go back to the family home or into assisted living."

More people struggling with autism in the area will be able to attend workshops and use the service in the daytime, without actually living in the home.

New jobs would be created as a result of the application, he added. Administration, maintenance and care posts would become available to many in the area although Options Group was unable to name a figure at this early stage.

Anyone with questions about Options Group’s application should email Russell Leese at Russell.Leese@optionsgroup.co.uk

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