Nexus Planning has obtained planning permission for a sensory garden at Burview Hall in Walton-on-Thames, on behalf of Elmbridge Mencap.
Elmbridge Mencap is a charity working independently on a local level for the benefit of those with learning disabilities (as well as their parents/carers) in Elmbridge and the surrounding area.
The approved facility is distinguished from a more conventional garden by the considered inclusion of features with particular sensory qualities. Conceptualised by Elmbridge Mencap’s committee along with bespoke designers, Playcubed, the garden is intended to provide a stimulating and beneficial environment for disabled people. Sensory features of this type not only induce sensory responses, but can also provide natural ‘cues’ that help individuals interpret and better utilise the environment.
The Burview Hall site is located in the Green Belt, placing significant limitations on the scale and nature of development that would comply with adopted planning policies. However, Nexus Planning successfully demonstrated the necessary very special circumstances to allow this form of development in the Green Belt, as well as overcoming various ecological and arboricultural issues.
Steven Doel, associate director at Nexus Planning, Reading, said: “We are delighted with this result for Elmbridge Mencap. Operated predominantly by volunteers, Burview Hall is the heart of the charity, which in itself is a vital pillar of the local community. Assisting in securing this planning permission means Elmbridge Mencap will finally be able to create their highly anticipated sensory garden. We have no doubt that it will be a fantastic addition to existing facilities at the hall and greatly enjoyed by the people who use it.”