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Controversy continues

By: Natasha Smith

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NEARLY ONE year after The Resident reported that local residents opposed a planned alcohol and drug recovery centre, in Tunes, the issues have still not been resolved and Silves Câmara has yet to make a decision to approve the project.

Andrew Masters, who lives next to the Nova Vida Recovery Centre, wrote a letter to the editor (see June 30, 2006 edition) expressing his opposition to the centre. The Resident contacted him recently and he said that his feelings had not changed.

In his letter, he wrote that “the surrounding property values will be reduced” and another neighbour, Rodney Fish, said “it can’t add value” to properties. Shareholder Andrew Vincent said that “in many cases, quality recovery centres actually increase property prices”.

Residents are concerned that a rise in traffic has had a detrimental effect on the one lane dirt road, but Vincent said that “after a period of heavy rain, the road was in terrible condition so we paid for the repairs and did not ask for any contribution from neighbours”. He also said that there is not the amount of cars using the road that the neighbours allege.

Vincent said attempts were made to open the lines of communication by inviting neighbours to an open meeting on site but neighbours, including Fish, told The Resident they knew nothing about the meeting.

Fish believes the centre has conducted the whole affair in “an arrogant way”, and although he said he was not against the idea of a centre, “we don’t feel it is in the right area”. Therefore, he will continue to oppose the project.

Neighbours are concerned that the tranquillity will be disturbed, but Vincent said that they chose the location for the same reason and they had no intention of disturbing that, as it “is an integral part of the recovery process”.

Shareholders of the centre have sought to alter the licence from habitation to service and, only after that is approved by Silves Câmara, would it be possible to apply to the Ministry of Health for a medical licence.

Câmara President Isabel Soares is to clarify the câmara’s position on the recovery centre, but, at the time of going to press, The Resident had not received a response.

There are still unresolved issues but without a functioning communication line, this seems unlikely.

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