Go-ahead likely for new Colne autism centre

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Go-ahead likely for new Colne autism centre Go-ahead likely for new Colne autism centre

A NEW educational centre to teach youngsters with autism looks set to be opened at a children’s home in Colne.

Proposals to build a stand-alone facility behind the Haverholt home have been submitted to Pendle Council by Abed Eid, of Main Street, Billinge.

Supporters of the scheme, which would also involve a conservatory extension to the main children’s home, say it would create ‘a calm environment for children experiencing symptoms on the autistic spectrum’.

Light, airy and warm rooms will be provided, finished off in pastel colourings, to ensure a welcoming ‘but not over- stimulating’ environment, it has been pledged.

Up to eight children would be catered for at the school building, under the care of a qualified teacher, two teaching assistants, a cook and one part-time supervisory assistant.

An educational psychologist would also be brought in to determine the individual needs of all students attending the centre.

The youngsters would either be resident at the children’s home or may attend on a daily or weekly basis for tuition, and comply with standards set by educational watchdog Ofsted, borough planners have been told.

Planning agent Mike Carr said: “The building has been designed to create an autism-friendly environment displaying a sense of calm and order with good levels of natural light and ventilation.

“We feel that creating a positive impact on the learning environment through good design is essential.”

The main teaching facility will also benefit from a ‘small-group room’ for one-to-one teaching or behavioural support.

The proposals come in the wake of similar plans to extend Holly Grove School, Burnley, because of an increasing demand for places for youngsters with autistic spectrum disorders.

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