A scheme has been lodged to transform an abandoned ex-autism centre into a new school.

The Breightmet Centre for Autism on Milthorpe Road has been vacant since it was ordered to close by the Care Quality Commission last year.

Earlier this year education provider Birchwood Children’s Services announced their intention to turn the centre into a school and this week more detailed plans were put forward.

Cllr Sean Fielding, of Breightmet, said: “This application is welcome and puts to bed the rumour that the building would be providing overnight accommodation for anybody.

“Provided the detail of the planning application is acceptable to the council’s planners, I wish Birchwood Children’s Services every success with this new school in Bolton.”

Plans to transform the centre into a school have been put before Bolton CouncilPlans to transform the centre into a school have been put before Bolton Council (Image: MSK Architecture)

The ASC Healthcare run centre was ordered to close in June 2023 after inspectors uncovered a catalogue of failings, having twice branded it as “inadequate” the year before.

At a further inspection in March 2023 CQC inspectors uncovered an alleged assault on a patient by a worker while eight others watched along with various other failings.

After closing the centre, ASC Healthcare applied to Companies House to be struck off on June 6.

But in May this year Birchwood Children’s Services announced their intentions to open a new school for more than youngsters on the autistic spectrum between the ages of five and 18.

Further plans have now been put forward to transform the building from a residential centre to an educational one and to create a children’s play area outside.

The plans were put before Bolton Council on Friday, June 7.

A design and access statement from Birchwood Children’s Services said this would help meet the “pressing need for specialised education for children within Bolton.”

It said: “The objective of the school is to provide comprehensive educational support and a nurturing environment for children on the autism spectrum with associated special educational needs.

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“Our vision is to create a school that champions inclusivity and tailored learning experiences delivered through a therapeutic that will facilitate the holistic development of every student.

“The school will be equipped with specialised facilities and staffed with professionals experienced in working with children with ASD.

“The team will comprise teachers, therapists, and support staff trained to implement personalised strategies and adaptable teaching methods to suit individual learning styles and needs.”

The council will aim to decide whether or not to approve the plans by Friday, August 2.