Thursday, 18 August 2022

Residents oppose children's nursery

RESIDENTS say a proposed new nursery in Crazies Hill would cause traffic chaos during school hours.

Rebecca Hartley has applied for planning permission to change the use of an office behind the village hall.

The building housed a playgroup in the Sixties but has had various uses since then.

Ms Hartley says the pre-school would cater for up to 14 children from age six months to five years and would have up to four staff.

It would be open from 8am to 6pm on weekdays and also open during the school holidays.

Her application says: “The site lies within very close proximity of Crazies Hill Primary School and there is therefore potential for linked trips, particularly as there are no other nurseries in the village.

“As the proposal is for re-use of an existing building, its form and appearance are retained and no external changes are proposed.”

But a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council heard that the road through the village was already very busy when parents dropped off and picked up their children at the primary school.

Jon Whiteley, who lives in the village, said: “My view is that any enterprise which brings multiple occupancy here is not appropriate. There are about 90 kids at the school and this will add traffic at busy times of the day.

“The road from Wargrave up to Crazies Hill is a bit of a nightmare as there’s no speed limit and no street lights. I don’t think we should sanction an increase in traffic.”

Mr Whiteley said he also had issues with potential noise disturbance from the nursery.

He said: “There’s already a busy primary school and that brings the noise you would expect. I don’t see how adding to that will enhance the special character of the area.”

Residents who live behind the hall said the application identified parking spaces for up to four cars but the area was not suitable and this would impact on their properties.

Councillors said the four parking spaces in front of the office would be too small for larger cars and could block a fire exit while the children would have to walk around the hall to access a proposed play area.

Councillor Terry Cattermole said: “There are serious safeguarding issues. We are talking about 14 children between six months and five years and it just doesn’t comply.”

Chairman Richard Bush said: “The traffic on the road is the main thing. When my children went to the school there were 50 children. Now that number has doubled and the road has become very dangerous. By putting in more traffic it becomes untenable.

“If they are going to use the outside play area it’s going to be have to made safe.”

Councillor Philip Davies said: “There is a number of faults with this planning application. I don’t think there’s enough detail in it and there are mistakes and concerns they haven’t answered.

“I would object due to insufficient and incorrect information. From purely a planning perspective, it’s a poor application.”

Councillor Andrew Luckwell said: “It falls short on all counts as far as I’m concerned.”

A decision on the application will be made by Wokingham Borough Council later this month.

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