Outdated buildings in Staffordshire to become training centre for people with learning difficulties

Outdated buildings are set to be replaced at a rural training centre for adults with learning disabilities in Staffordshire.

Entrance To Oak Tree Farm Rural Project Near Stone - picture: Google Street View
Entrance To Oak Tree Farm Rural Project Near Stone - picture: Google Street View

Oak Tree Farm Rural Project has been providing support and opportunities for more than 30 years and is based near Hilderstone, near Stone.

Service users are involved in growing plants and caring for animals on the smallholding, which also welcomes visitors to enjoy home made refreshments and crafting sessions.

In recent years there have been a series of improvements made to the centre, including an extension of the tea room to provide space to sell pottery and plants.

Now permission is being sought from Stafford Borough Council to demolish a former shop and storage area, remove a portable building that has been used as an office and build a replacement office and toilet facilities.

Supporting statements submitted as part of the planning application said: “The applicant is a registered charity running an agricultural and horticultural working environment for people with learning disabilities. There is also a tea room and a small pottery.

“Plants and pottery produced at the project site are sold for fundraising purposes. Over the last few years the accommodation has been replaced, where buildings have met the end of their economic lives, and new structures added as the project has grown and diversified.

“Following a recent injection of funds it is now proposed to replace the former pottery shop, a mould store and the temporary offices, currently located in obsolescent buildings.

“The offices, currently located in a (portable building), would be relocated into the new building and extra, much-needed. accommodation provided. The (portable building) has reached the end of its economic life and is to be removed from the site.

“The project continues to be funded by social services and other agencies through direct payments but nowadays is ever more reliant on donations from the general public and businesses. Discussions have been held with the site freeholders, the Harrowby Estate, and they have indicated their support for the scheme.”

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