PROPOSALS have been drawn up seeking permission to convert an office building on a business park into an autism specialist college.

Plans have been sent to the council by charitable organisation Remarkable Autism for a premises at The Parks, Newton-le-Willows.

The application is for the unit at 11 The Parks to be used as educational facility ASCENT College, at the business park site, close to junction 23 of the M6. The college would cater for 60 students, plans state.

ASCENT College currently has a premises at Wargrave Road, in Newton-le-Willows. 

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The application states that “ASCENT College at 11 The Parks, Newton le Willows, will be an Autism Specialist College aimed at providing students with an opportunity to develop their employability, social, communication skills whilst building their resilience and independence through accredited learning pathways and experiential learning”.

A planning statement in the application adds: “Our mission is to train and educate our students so they can gain employment, and lead independent lifestyles to support happy and fulfilled lives”.

Plans state there will be “approximately 45 full time equivalent staff and 60 students on site across the provision at different times of the week”.

It adds: “Opening and closing times will vary due to the timetable of classes” and the college “will be open to students five days a week between the hours of 9.30am to 3.30pm for 38 weeks of the year”.

Plans say students will “generally arrive via mini-bus or dropped off by family members” and it is anticipated that “approximately 20-25 vehicles” will be entering and leaving the site at the start and finish of each day, likely to be split 50/50 between cars and mini-buses.

The planning application is on standard consultation to the public until Tuesday, May 7. A decision is expected to be made by council planners on the application by June 3.