Thursday, 28 July 2011
Former hotel set to be high-class drug rehab
THE QUIET country retreat of Aylesbury House Hotel in Hockley Heath is to become a drug rehabilitation centre for the rich and famous of the Arab World - The Observer can exclusively reveal.
The Right Start International Foundation (RSIF) snapped up the abandoned and dilapidated hotel in January.
And now the charity organisation wants to turn it into a world-leading drug rehabilitation centre for 18 to 24-year-olds from the Arab elite including princes, princesses and heirs to billionaire fortunes.
Speaking exclusively to the paper this week a spokesperson for the RSIF said the new centre, if given the go-ahead, would be like the world- famous Betty Ford Clinic in America - a clinic relied upon by Hollywood A-listers to overcome their addictions.
He added the charity would be entering into open and ongoing talks with local people and councils to let them know exactly what the centre is and asking for their opinions.
"We understand people's concerns, especially when the word drugs is mentioned, but we are confident of reassuring the people of Hockley Heath," he said.
He also added that the centre could, in fact, be great for the local economy.
"The families of the young people who will be treated here will more than likely stay in the area and plough vast amounts of money into the local economy.
"The people who will be coming here are not just rich, they are seriously rich and well to do."
He used the example of the former King of Saudi Arabia who spent millions and milllions of pounds holidaying in the Spanish resort of Marbella.
On one occasion the King arrived with a fleet of jumbo jets and about 3,000 family members, friends, camp followers and staff.
He booked 300 hotel rooms, hired 500 additional staff, and more than 100 leased Mercedes cars arrived on transporters from Germany.
By the time he left almost seven weeks later he was said to have pumped about about £60m into Marbella's economy.
The RSIF claims it chose Hockley Heath because of its close links to the class-leading universities of the region and because of the 'wealth of medical talent' in the area.
News of the centre has only just broken out in Hockley Heath and villagers turned out in force to a public meeting to discuss it, however nobody from the Parish Council was available for comment as The Observer went to press.
Coun Andy Mackiewicz (Cons/Dorridge and Hockley Heath) said he was concerned, but playing a watching brief until he knew more details about the plans.