Community centre to become children's mental health referral unit


Planning permission granted for specialist unit in Essex for pupils with behavioural problems

Plans have been unveiled to turn an Essex community centre into a specialist unit for young people with behavioural problems.

The Wickford-based Hearts Academy Trust has been granted outline planning permission from Basildon Council to turn Briscoe Community Centre in Felmores End, Pitsea, into a referral unit for pupils with social and emotional mental health needs.

Pupils will stay in mainstream education centres, but will attend the unit on a sort-term basis until they are ready to return to the classroom full time.

The proposals include two classrooms, a lunch room, a breakaway room, a ‘nurture room’, and toilets, while outside there will be a secure play area.

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Led by Alderton Associates, the building is based in the grounds of Briscoe Primary School and Nursery, part of the Hearts Academy Trust. It is currently used as a crèche and for community events.