Decision on unpopular nursery plans put off
PLANS to turn a residential bungalow into a nursery in Leckhampton have been put on hold.
The proposal by Samuel Hashimzai, which had drawn 15 letters of objection to Cheltenham Borough Council, was deferred by members of the planning committee.
Mr Hashimzai addressed the councillors, saying that the nursery would have a maximum of 16 children and that Montessori nurseries are known for being very calm and quiet.
He said: "There is a push for more nurseries."
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Coun Duncan Smith (C Charlton Park), who is the borough councillor for the area, opposed the application.
He said there had been no identified food preparation area, or proper provision for bins for waste from a nursery, including children's nappies.
He said: "The size outdoors is so minuscule that it wouldn't be good for children."
Many of the committee members were also concerned with the size of the bungalow, saying they didn't believe it could be big enough
Coun Barbara Driver (C, Landsdown) said: "This is the right thing, but in the wrong place. It's far too small, the garden area is a postage stamp."
Other councillors expressed concern at the impact of parents dropping off their children in the morning, despite Mr Hashimzai saying it would be allowed only during a 45-minute time frame. Coun Colin Hay (LD, Oakley) said anyone who had a school on their patch knew how difficult it could be.
The plans submitted by Mr Hashimzai were criticised for not being complete or professional enough.
And committee members expressed concerns that they didn't know whether the proposals met Ofsted requirements; which was not enough of a reason to refuse the application but disinclined them to permit a nursery that might not pass those regulations.
A motion to defer was proposed by Coun Pat Thornton (LD St Peters). In response Coun Mrs Driver said: "If we defer it, it won't change position or get any bigger."
The vote to defer a decision in order to get more information from the applicant was passed by 10 votes to three with one abstention.
Sixteen neighbours had written to the borough council about the plans, 15 opposing them. Most objections were on grounds of road congestion and road safety or noise disturbing neighbours in a quiet residential street.