Mansfield charity gets green light to convert grade-listed Thoresby Estate lodge into special educational needs school
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A Place to Call Our Own (APTCOO) recently took possession of the lodge, owned by the Thoresby Estate, on a long-term lease and are currently using it to educate young people with a range of challenges, including autism and ADHD.
No alterations are planned to the Grade II-listed building, and the application is purely for change of use – from residential to educational use, a report to Newark and Sherwood District Council states.
"The site is currently occupied by A Place to Call Our Own (APTCOO), a charity which provides a safe environment for children and young people with special education needs/disability (SEND) to learn through one-to-one and small group tuition.
"The lodge is used to provide education, training and employability skills within a Forest School environment for the young with SEND during term time.
“It is hoped that the centre will be able to offer family short breaks throughout the school holidays this is, however, not yet in operation.
"Activities include indoor academic work, outdoor Forest School, preparing for adulthood and employability skills.”
According to the APTCOO website, their : “vision is to support young people from early years through to adulthood to enable them to achieve their full potential in life".
It states: “We have created unique spaces in the local community for almost 30 years, based in Mansfield and more recently branching out with properties in Budby and Thoresby, set within the beautiful Sherwood Forest.
"Activities are designed to encourage engagement and participation, bringing people together to support each other, making friends, socialising, reducing isolation and loneliness.”
The application has been granted with conditions by the planning authority.
The report states that the new school currently supports five children at the Thoresby site, with three members of staff and a manager.
Arrival and departure times are also staggered to avoid congestion to the site, with youngsters arriving between 10am and 11am, and departing between 2pm and 3pm. Staff will be on site between 8.30am and 6pm.