Training centre for children with additional needs in Mansfield set for approval

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Plans to turn a Mansfield Woodhouse home into a training centre and independent school for children with special educational needs could be given the go-ahead.

Mansfield-based REAL Education is seeking permission for the development at Debdale House, off Debdale Lane.

If approved by Mansfield Council, the local planning authority, the schemewould see the current property, used as a home and in a wider housing development, transformed into an education centre for children aged seven-14 with autism and mobility problems.

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It comes as the provider looks to meet the growing demand for this form of education in the Mansfield area, with the plans put forward to address a ‘local need’.

REAL Education already has premises on Woodhouse Road, near Mansfield town centre.REAL Education already has premises on Woodhouse Road, near Mansfield town centre.
REAL Education already has premises on Woodhouse Road, near Mansfield town centre.

Members of the council planning committee are recommended to approve the plans at their next meeting.

Documents published ahead of the meeting state the school is expected to support up to 35 pupils and have 15 members of staff, however, staff numbers could be lower depending on the requirements of the children.

Six classrooms would be provided over the two floors of the building, with an additional kitchen, dining room, common room and reception office proposed.

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Papers state the building has a long driveway and an existing turning area for cars, with 10 parking spaces – including two disabled bays and two electric charging ports – to be created in this area.

The applicant expects all pupils and staff will access the school via taxi, car or cycling, with minibuses only used for school trips.

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Recommending approval, the council’s planning department said: “The proposal would involve the re-use of an existing building within the countryside and secure the provision of additional school places for children with special needs, for which there is a recognised demand.

“The scheme would also provide employment opportunities and therefore secure some economic benefits.

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“In addition, it would preserve the character and appearance of the area and the setting of a nearby heritage asset.”

In statements submitted to the authority, REAL Education said: “This provision will address the requirements for vulnerable young people and their families.

“It will provide a specialist school focused on supporting those young people through educational pathways, in order for them to make a positive transition into employment, and becoming a valued and motivated contributor within their community.”

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