Planning permission for the demolition of a nursery and erection of a new nursery building has been granted.
The application from Oakdene Nursery was approved by the Northern Planning Committee on Wednesday, 13th September, having been 'called-in' to committee at the request of Cllr Toni Fox due to the concerns of local residents regarding the scale of new building, proximity to adjacent residential properties, provision of on site parking and access.
Members of the committee voted in favour of the application by 11 votes to 1.
The nursery currently operates from two buildings; one on on Tudor Road, which will be demolished, and one within the grounds of Wilmslow Academy with access from Handforth Road. There are currently 44 children at the Tudor Road site and 40 children at the school site.
A new nursery and pre-school building will be constructed on Tudor Road which will allow for the amalgamation of the two existing sites so the building on the school site will no longer be used for children's care.
The application was amended to reduce the scale of the building and therefore its capacity for numbers of children. Parking spaces were also increased from 9 spaces originally proposed to 16 spaces within the site and works on Tudor Road will provide some traffic calming.
52 comments were received regarding this proposal from local residents, parents of children attending the nursery and staff and also, from the adjacent academy - 33 raised objections, 18 supported the proposal and 1 was unknown. The concerns raised primarily related to highway safety and parking matters.
The planning officer recommended the application for approval stating "Whilst all the objections are acknowledged the amended scheme is now considered to be of appropriate proportions to the site and highway and parking matters have been addressed."
Councillor Craig Browne voted against the plans saying "I voted against the proposal partly due to concerns about the overbearing impact on neighbouring properties, due to the replacement of a single storey building with a new two-and-a-half storey building. The officer's presentation explained that the separation distance between the proposed building and neighbouring properties on Turin Drive would be only 14 metres, which I considered unacceptable given the substantial increase in height.
"More importantly, however, my primary concern related to child safety. The new nursery is expected to accommodate 95 children, with provision for 16 on site parking spaces (13 for members of staff and just 3 spaces for visitors/dropping off). The access road leading to the site is incredibly narrow and also has a 90 degree bend, with virtually no visibility. Given this, my concerns for the road safety of young children being dropped off or picked up, were not addressed by the information provided in the officer's report."