Expansion planned at Ponderosa site

NEXT STEPS Howard Cook is looking to improve his facilities for people with learning difficulties. (d521c436)
NEXT STEPS Howard Cook is looking to improve his facilities for people with learning difficulties. (d521c436)
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The owner of the Ponderosa Centre has unveiled a quarter of a million pound plan to expand his facilities for people with learning difficulties.

Howard Cook has requested planning permission to move services across the site and increase their capability.

The move is part of a plan, alongside the domes redevelopment project on the old Yorkshire Water sewage works, to make the project financially sustainable. It would include new units on the site’s business park.

Mr Cook said: “We feel the time has come to bring a modern update to the facilities we offer. If we can extend the service to a different level it will become sustainable.”

He said the new facilities would massively improve the lives of the service’s users.

Mr Cook said that suffering from cancer last year redoubled his focus on helping people with learning difficulties.

“They were a very important part of my recovery.

“You realise you are not going to be around forever. I could have walked away, but for what?”

The Ponderosa farm itself is still up for sale. Mr Cook said he wanted to focus on his work for people with learning difficulties.

The decision on whether or not the domes redevelopment is approved is expected in October. Work would then take two years to complete.

And a decision on the business park expansion is expected in November, with work to take around six months if approved.