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Unique Kidz submits “lifechanging” planning application

Unique Kidz and Co, a local charity providing childcare and support for disabled children and adults, has submitted its planning application for a two-stage project that will transform its current outside space and building.

Following months of design, pre-planning, community consultations, and gathering support from the local community, organisations, and MPs, the charity hopes to have a decision on the proposed development – designed by Lancashire-based HPA Architects and Landscape Architect Laurel Truscott – by Spring 2024. 

Based on Woodhill Lane, Morecambe, the first stage of the project is to be the landscaping of its field, adjacent to Acre Moss Lane, Morecambe. The space is set to be transformed to fit seamlessly into the environment, with improvements including two specialist lodges, accessible play area, cycle track, sensory gardens, and growing garden. 

Works to Unique Kidz’s centre would take place during the second phase of the project and would include an extension and reformation of the internal layout to allow increased capacity and new spaces, such as sensory rooms, therapy suites and an accessible kitchen.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Unique Kidz currently has 187 disabled young people on its register, with numbers continuing to increase and its services at capacity. The charity has outgrown its building and land but this new project will allow them to take on more disabled young people, expand their services and provide more accessible spaces, meaningful activities, and opportunities.  

Jane Halpin, Co-founder and Trustee of Unique Kidz said: “This project will be lifechanging; not only for the disabled young people and families that currently use our centre, but for those that currently cannot access our services to lack of space and our ever-growing waiting list of people who need our support.”

“We had some incredible feedback from the community, organisations, and MPs during our consultation process, so we’re now hoping for a positive decision on the planning application so that we can move forward with our exciting developments and crucially, Unique Kidz can support more disabled young people and their families.”

HPA Architects Director Zoe Hooton said: “This is exactly the type of project I became an Architect for. Our plans have been informed by a collaboration of extensive research in designing for differing disabilities, site visits to view best practice, but most importantly, by a series of workshops to learn from carers, teachers, parents, trustees, ecologists, and many of the young people at Unique Kidz, to understand what they would like and need for the future. We are incredibly proud to be supporting such an incredible charity.”

If you would like to share your support for the proposed Unique Kidz and Co development, please follow this link to Lancaster City Council’s planning portal: https://planning.lancaster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=S57DCRIZH9B00