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Chloe Shakesby

Planning permission granted for multi-million pound Durham farm experience centre

Planning permission has been granted for a new multi-million pound farm experience centre in Durham.

The Woodlands Park Farm near Consett will see a new barn building and nine holiday lodges constructed, with the project creating jobs and work experience opportunities for young adults with special needs.

The proposed facility, which will cater for those living with mental health problems, will generate the equivalent to eight full time roles.

The £5m investment will include a 410 sq m agricultural style barn building featuring chill/sensory rooms, an art and craft room, meeting rooms, indoor play areas, a café and accessible toilets.

Director of North East planning consultants Hedley Planning Services, Joe Ridgeon, who oversaw the planning application, said: “The planners have seen the benefits that this unique farm experience will bring, so we are delighted that the project has been approved.

“It will contribute significantly to the well-being and life experience of hundreds of disadvantaged and disabled people; undoubtedly having a significant impact on their lives and families for years to come.”

Ian Adamson, of Woodlands Park Farm, said: “This project is hugely important to so many families.

“We have had many letters from families who have taken the time to write and tell us how much our project would mean to them, for which we are hugely grateful. This level of support has motivated us to continue with our vision.

“There is a huge need for this type of service, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to be able to provide a quiet and restful environment, where families can enjoy the beautiful countryside that we have in the Vale of Durham, no matter what the weather may bring.”

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