Plans revealed to open equestrian therapy centre in Cheshire for autistic children

Plans have been submitted for an equestrian-based therapy centre for autistic children at a Twemlow Green farm.

The proposal would include demolishing and replacing some buildings at Saltersford Farm, which is off Macclesfield Road, and converting others.

The aim is to construct an equestrian respite/therapy centre for autistic children to enjoy holidays and short breaks.

A design and access statement submitted by Sensus Architecture for Gadwall Estates Ltd says the applicants are demonstrating their commitment to further the quality of life of autistic children and their families and ‘delivering a high quality respite care and short break service to meet a largely unmet need’.

The proposals include:

  • the provision of specialist on-site facilities catered towards people with autism;

  • equestrian facilities, including indoor arena and provision of specialist stud facilities to support the site’s breeding, foaling and youngstock activities;

  • Specialists holiday accommodation to support the specific needs of autistic people and provide short-break respite for families;

  • education centre and craft workshop spaces;

  • Staff facilities and on-site living accommodation.

The proposed works include demolishing an existing large steel-framed barn and replacing it with clear span structure over internal riding arena and converting an existing barn to American barn stables with two staff apartments on mezzanines.

The planning document states: “In order to maximise the impact of the site, and due to the absence of similar centres elsewhere in the UK, it is proposed to develop seven accommodation units to allow autistic people and their carers/families from further afield to visit and stay at the centre.

“This will be achieved by converting the existing two-storey brick barns.”

The site, which is in the open countryside, is bounded by open pasture land to the north and west and Macclesfield Road to the south and east.

The application, number 24/1451C, can be viewed on the planning portal on Cheshire East Council’s website.

The closing date for comments is May 23 and it is due to be determined by a planning officer under delegated authority.

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