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Green light for urban farm

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An urban farm promoting healthy eating, exercise and positive mental health has been given the green light to be created in a historic part of Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough Council's Planning and Development Committee today approved plans which would see the site at the corner of Stockton Street and Commercial Street near the old town hall in Middlehaven become an "oasis of calm".

The tranquil urban farm will boast a street café and shop selling produce grown on site and create jobs for local people and would have space for seasonal crops, sensory gardens and beehives.

The proposals have been submitted by the Camphill Village Trust - a national charity that supports adults with autism, learning and other disabilities.

The trust, which has a presence in the town at Larchfield Community Centre near Coulby Newham, is an established national charity supporting adults with learning and other disabilities.

It is keen to have facilities in urban areas and provide opportunities to more people.

The development would be a dementia and accessibility friendly building that could be used by adults with learning and other disabilities, local residents and community groups.

The hub on site would offer work experience, arts and crafts and promote local groups to complement the town's art, music and technology sectors.

The farm would have areas for chickens and an edible forest could also feature. It's hoped the European-style attraction would benefit local residents and businesses.

The proposal was approved by the committee unanimously with a number of conditions including that work must begin on site within three years.

An artist's impression of the urban farm