HEALTH bosses have applied for permission to build a seven foot fence around a health centre — to halt “illicit activity” in its car park.

NHS Bolton wants to build a boundary fence and two security gates at Pikes Lane Primary Care Resource Centre in Deane Road, Deane.

Drivers are repeatedly using the car park at night when the health centre is closed.

A blaze has also been started on the cark park, which caused damage that had to be paid for by NHS Bolton. A spokesman for NHS Bolton said: “Without police involvement or surveillance we could not say for sure what is going on but they are certainly trespassing as they are not using the car park for the purpose of attending the health centre.”

And in a report to Bolton Council, which will make a decision on the proposals tomorrow, said the application had been made because of “continual anti-social behaviour problems”, with people using the car park for “illicit purposes”.

But a neighbouring business owner has objected to the plans, claiming the fence will make the area “look like a prison”.

Asif Patel, owner of the Spar store at the site of the old Gibraltar Rock Pub in Deane Road said in a letter to Bolton Council: “We strongly object. A 2.2 metre pallistrade fence will make this area look like a prison.

“It will make this part of the area look like it is a dangerous and unsocial area, giving the complete wrong perception and spoil the locality, we hope the application is refused.”Council planning officers have recommended the plans for approval.

A report to the council said: “Fencing of a similar height and colour is used along the Gibraltar Street boundary and railings are employed at the health centre on Board Street.

“The scale proposed is functional but not excessive and residents in Gilnow Lane will not be unduly affected.

“The fence design is open and it will not appear too industrialised or utilitarian, allowing natural surveillance and the proposed colour will blend in with existing landscaping.”