THE Ombudsman has thrown out residents' objections to a day centre for former mental patients. He said, however, that complaints by residents of Laguna City in Kwun Tong that the Government had not consulted them properly were partly substantiated. Mr Arthur Garcia, the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, recommended that the Government warn the public of future welfare projects. In a written report to Legislative Councillors, Mr Garcia said objections to the activity centre and the residents' ''defiant attitude would help neither them nor the prospective clients in achieving mutual understanding and respect''. He said the centre would admit only people who had substantially recovered from their illness. The residents might eventually agree that the risk of patients ''running amok'' and threatening safety was ''more imaginary than real''. But he recommended that detailed assessments should be made about the level of resistance to such projects and should include canvassing public opinion to win support. He said the Government should help residents and the Estate Owners Committee at Laguna City to identify concerns and take measures to overcome them. That would lead to a better understanding. Residents have fought a long battle to prevent the home being built. The issue will be debated in the Legislative Council tomorrow. Mr Garcia also found that the Kwun Tong District Board and its sub-committees were the most appropriate forum to be consulted rather than area committees. The process could have dragged on indefinitely with the consultation going in a vicious circle from committee to committee, if any one committee had rejected the proposal, he said. He recommended appropriate staffing at the centre, both in rank and numbers, to ensure proper supervision of clients. The Director of Social Welfare and the Kwun Tong District Board agreed to implement all the recommendations. Arrangements are being made to ensure that a statement is included in sales brochures stating that certain premises in the estate may be required for welfare facilities. The commissioner's report followed an investigation which began after the chairman of the Estate Owners' Committee lodged an official complaint in December against the Social Welfare Department and the City and New Territories Administration. He said they had failed to consult residents about the plan to move the centre from Yau Ma Tei to the Cha Kwo Ling Neighbourhood Community Centre next to Laguna City. He said the Government's consultation with the Kwun Tong District Board in 1990 was unacceptable because the first phase of Laguna City was not ready for occupation until 1991. Mr Garcia found that part of the residents' bitterness lay ''in the hard fact that they bought their properties in ignorance of the planned project, consequently they could not have taken this factor into account when deciding to buy''. He agreed that the saga would probably not have arisen had the Government made an early announcement of the project. He also found that given the experience of past resistance to halfway houses and other projects for the formerly mentally ill, the Government was over-optimistic about its first purpose-built activity centre being acceptable to neighbours. The charge that the new centre would duplicate work carried out at day hospitals in the nearby Yung Fung Shee Memorial Centre was dismissed as groundless by the commissioner. He accepted the Government's view that there was ''no proof'' that the mentally ill were more violent than other people. ''In the heat of the current dispute, the residents have been misinformed that the activity centre is located near the day hospital to facilitate emergency referral of members to the psychiatric clinic in the event of relapse,'' he said. ''There is no alternative site for the centre . . . it is government policy to have one activity centre established in each region . . . and the Government has undertaken to provide the requisite rehabilitation services by 1996/97,'' he said.