The Priory Group spends £5m on new Dewsbury site

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AN INDEPENDENT health provider is investing around £5m in a new site in Dewsbury.

The Priory Group – famous for treating celebrities for exhaustion or addiction – is due to open a new facility in York Road, Earlsheaton, in August.

The company is currently recruiting for various posts, including registered nurses and therapy assistants, and expects to create more than 70 jobs in time.

A Priory Group spokeswoman said: “This is good news for Dewsbury with the creation of a significant number of jobs for local people.

“There has already been a great deal of interest in the wide range of jobs available.”

The hospital facility will offer specialist treatment and intensive rehabilitation for up to 32 men, some of whom may be liable to detention under the Mental Health Act.

When the company applied for planning permission in December 2010, some residents contacted the Reporter to share their concerns about the open nature of the development and traffic issues.

One reader said he was worried it was too close to Earlsheaton Technology College and Bywell Junior School.

He said: “We have nothing personal against mentally ill people but the proximity of two schools is very worrying. How is it possible to grant planning permission for this venture?”

But planning officers granted full conditional permission in April last year. They said: “The development would have no detrimental affect on the visual amenities of the area nor any neighbouring properties and would not impact adversely on any highway safety issues.”

This week, the company was keen to stress that any patients being treated at the new facility would not be those who needed the level of support or supervision offered by a secure service.

It said patients would be men from the local area with an enduring mental illness.

The spokeswoman said: “This facility will offer care and rehabilitation treatment for patients with a mental illness who are on a care pathway towards independent living.

“We have met with people living close to the development in order to allay any concerns that they had.”