Dagenham residents collect 150 signatures against mental health care home given permission to operate as OAP home

Concerned residents say they were not properly consulted after a building they were told would be a care home for the elderly had its use changed to a centre for people suffering from mental health problems.

Residents in and around Raydons Road, Dagenham have collected 150 signatures to lobby Barking and Dagenham Council over the plans.

The home, which has already opened, caters for up to 10 residents with disorders including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and will be staffed by specialist clinicians 24 hours a day. The building was given the go-head in 2009 on the understanding it would cater for the elderly.

Mum-of-two Kelly Turner, 30, of Raydons Road, said: “There was no notification - People feel there should have been.”

Residents found out that Maison Moti, a company specialising in the care of people with mental ill-health, had taken over the premises this summer.

Barking and Dagenham Council said Maison Moti did not need to submit a new planning application because the premises were given a C2 licence for “residential institutions”, which can accommodate people with a range of conditions.

The residents are planning to present copies of their petition, headlined Say “No” To Moti Mansions, to the home and the council.

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Maison Moti said the residents would be assessed by specialists before being released into the community and stressed expert care would be available round the clock.

The company said all its service users are accommodated in residential streets and added it was “confident” its users “do not represent an increased risk to local people”.

Chief executive Mostak Ahmed said: “The necessary planning consents were obtained prior to our acquisition of the premises at Raydons Road.

“Since learning of the concerns we have invited open communication. I am confident that we can provide the level of reassurance and confidence that people will require.”

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “We appreciate local residents may have concerns about a new venture on their doorstep but understand a number of them have already visited the home.

“Anne Bristow, our corporate director for adult and community services, offered in August to meet with local residents if they still had any issues they wished to discuss.

“No one has been in touch so far but that offer still stands.”