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Rossendale villagers’ protest over sex offenders hostel plan
9:32am Monday 16th May 2011 in Edenfield
HUNDREDS of residents took to the streets of a quiet village yesterday to protest against plans by a hostel to house paedophiles and sex offenders.
Organisers said about 500 people protested in Edenfield over the proposals by Chatterton Hey House.
Bosses at the hostel, which is just a few hundred yards from a children’s play area, want to extend their services to convicted sex offenders and ex-offenders with mental health, mobility and substance abuse issues.
The protest, organised by dad-of-two Matt Mead, ran from the park to Chatterton Hey and was attended by MP Jake Berry.
Mr Mead, 40, of Exchange Street, said: “We have heard about these centres before and people can get out of them.
"It is only about 500 yards away from a children’s playground so it is totally the wrong place.
“People in the village are angry and very upset.”
Mr Mead said an 800-signature petition had also been collected while over 1,600 people have joined a Facebook protest group.
Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry said: “It seems common sense not to use this location for such offenders, and the police and probation service have expressed reservations about the suitability of this building.”
A meeting is planned on Wednesday between Chatterton Hey owner Langley House Trust, police and probation service, where a decision will be taken.
The Langley House Trust has said only people passing a ‘strict criteria’ would be allowed to live at Chatterton Hey.
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