HYNDBURN councillors have categorically told health bosses they will not support a drug and alcohol rehab centre in residential areas of the town.
At a full council meeting, both major parties backed a motion opposing locations which could have a negative impact on residents and called for the East Lancashire Primary Care Trust (PCT) to site it at the existing Pals Primary Health Care Centre in Paradise Street, Accrington.
A campaign led by furious Peel residents has already forced the PCT to rethink its preferred site at the former Peel House Medical Centre in Avenue Parade, which was declared dead in the water at the meeting.
The ruling Conservative group denied accusations of a sudden U-turn amid claims it had known about the plans years ago.
Peel ward councillor Bernard Dawson said: "The obvious question is why didn’t we say this to the PCT two years ago?"
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "It has been under discussion for two years but the first idea the PCT put forward was a shop premises.
"We told them at the time there was no way the council would ever consider this in a town centre location.
"My message to them was go away and find a venue that’s acceptable to residents and the council will agree to it."
Councillor Dawson added: "Most people agree that a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre is needed in the borough. We have to take responsibility for people who have those sorts of problems and I’m sure there’s somewhere in the borough that can accommodate this facility."
Councillor John Griffiths said: "A family friend has to go all the way to Blackburn for treatment and people have to be supported. We need something in this borough and perhaps the Pals centre will be the best option. They must find somewhere in Hyndburn."