MP supports residents in hotel battle

Marion Fellows MP
Marion Fellows MP

MP Marion Fellows has backed Motherwell residents fighting plans to convert a former hotel into a centre for people who have suffered addictions.

The Scottish Government is considering an appeal by international charity Betel against North Lanarkshire Council’s refusal of planning permission for the development at the Old Mill Hotel site.

Betel says it helps turn lives around by offering training in skills such as landscape gardening and furniture restoration, and provides a drugs and alcohol-free environment.

However, the plans provoked strong opposition from residents in the area.

Opposition campaign leader Elaine Morris said: “We do not want a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre right in the middle of our close knit community.”

Now Motherwell MP Mrs Fellows has written to the Scottish Government after meeting residents who live in “close proximity” to the old hotel. She says they are “vehemently opposed” to the Betel plans.

Her letter states: “I would ask you give very serious consideration to the views of the residents of Braidhurst Street and the surrounding area as it is the local people who stand to be most affected by this decision.”

Last month it emerged that UK Government cabinet minister Sajid Javid had written to North Lanarkshire Council in support of Betel, praising a similar centre run by the charity in his Midlands constituency.

Mr Javid said: “Betel UK undertake fantastic work in helping to improve the lives of their residents. They would be a tremendous asset to Motherwell.”