Mental health gathers Moss

EAST FREMANTLE residents are irked at being “kept in the dark” over plans to turn the old Moss Street clinic into a halfway house for people with mental health issues.

The clinic was most recently a physiotherapy day centre for the elderly, but has been shut for a few months.

The council issued letters informing residents of a change of use, but not that people with mental health issues would be living there.

Bedford Street’s Agata Sleeman says community consultation is flawed.

“It’s a major change in the patient type so we should have been informed in the mail-out from council,” she says. “Aside from that, we are concerned about parking, as the building will accommodate 15 residents and up to five staff, plus deliveries and visitors.

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“Our street is a quiet family street with lots of young children but it is getting busy — recently the development near Foodworks and May Street Larder opening has produced a spill-on effect of traffic and parked cars onto our street

“We are worried that the development will impact on house prices.”

In response to residents’ concerns, Fremantle hospital and the south metropolitan area health service will hold an information session on December 2 at the hospital, and has convinced East Fremantle council to extend public consultation to December 16.

If approved, the Moss Street clinic will replace the hospital’s Hampton Road facility, which has been offering the same services for the past 15 years. The Herald understands the site was used as a mental health centre around 15 years ago.

The plans will not alter the building, but will involve rearranging the carpark and preventing access from Bedford Street. It is proposed that residents can stay up to six weeks.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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