Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dorridge nursery bid fails again

A BID to expand a planned nursery in Dorridge has again failed – but council bosses must pay up for “unreasonable” behaviour.


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An applicant has lost an appeal over plans to open a nursery for 30 children in Grange Road, opposite the junction with Kingscote Road (to the far right of the above image).

Permission exists for 26 children but the developer says the scheme would be “uneconomic” without 30 children.

They told The Planning Inspectorate – which decided on the appeal – “how much this facility is needed in the area”.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council rejected a nursery for 20 children in 2007 but this was overturned and later raised to 26 through the inspectorate.

But the inspectorate’s Christopher Gethin said the bid for 30 children posed a danger to road safety through parking on the road.

He said: “I concur with the view of previous Inspectors that increased parking and manoeuvring in the road close to the site, especially during peak hours, would increase the likelihood of conflicts, the risk of collisions between vehicles, and the dangers for pedestrians (including children).

“Reversing manoeuvres would be particularly hazardous.”

A plan for 30 children was rejected by the inspectorate in February and the new plan proposed four instead of five parking spaces and a wider access.

Yet Mr Gethin said drivers would still park on the road and this “would not be in the interests of highway safety”.

It would also “result in an increase to the noise and disturbance experienced by the occupiers
of the adjoining dwellings, harming their living conditions to an unacceptable degree” he said.

But the applicant, Mrs S Bains, will get appeal costs from the council for two matters where it showed “unreasonable behaviour resulting in wasted expense”.

This related to Mrs Bains having to demonstrate it was not true that staff numbers would increase despite the claim being “not supported by evidence”.

Also, the council alleged a hedge was “dense” by the property and this would affect traffic manoeuvres. Mrs Bains had to again show this was not true.

The two parties will now agree a sum.

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