Autism home given council approval
The house, at 5 Burys Bank Road, will provide full-time care for up to six autistic children and young adults aged under 19.
It will be run by the Priory Group, which also runs mental health rehabilitation centre The Cloisters, Monks Lane, and Thornford Park – a medium secure hospital for the mentally ill, Crookham Hill.
The matter was initially discussed by the council’s western area planning committee in June, however the decision was deferred so that council officers could establish whether change of use permission - to a class 2 type dwelling – was actually needed for the conversion.
Councillors were concerned that approving a general class 2 use would open up the risk of larger developments such as hospitals.
On Wednesday night, planning permission was granted with the condition that no more than six young people with autistic spectrum disorders or learning difficulties would live at the site at any one time.
Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) said: “I feel satisfied that the condition will give the element of protection that we were looking for.
“I recommend that we support this application.”
There were 23 letters of objection sent by local residents who were concerned about poor access to the area, increased congestion and potential security concerns for vulnerable children near a busy main road.