Planning permission has been granted to transform a former Ulverston health centre into a residential development for learning disabled people with autism.
The successful application from Impact Housing to South Lakeland District Councilís planners paves the way for a new centre housing six autistic adults from south Cumbria. A shortage of specialist residential facilities means some are currently living outside the county.
The new service will be funded by Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Primary Care Trust, and developed in partnership with Impact Housing. Care providers Creative Support will provide 24-hour on site care for the homeís six residents.
Contractors are expected to start work on the site by the end of the year, with the completed building finished by the end of 2009.
Judith Whittam, Cumbria County Councilís manager for learning disabilities, said:
"Now that planning permission has been granted the hard work really begins in designing and building the best possible service within the available resources. This is an important development which will allow us to help people with learning disabilities live in the county with 24-hour residential support. I'd like to thank the local community in Ulverston for their support in developing this important scheme."
Greg Everatt, Assistant Commissioning Manager (Service Improvement) at Cumbria PCT, said:
"We are delighted that this service is going ahead as it will allow us not only to bring people back to Cumbria but it will also enable us to improve services for people with a learning disability who also have Autistic Spectrum Disorder already living in the county. By developing this very specialist service, health professionals working here will have the chance to improve their understanding of this complex condition."
Please note: Cumbria County Council's media team telephone numbers have now changed.
Media enquiries to Gareth Cosslett, News Manager on 01228 226332