Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Refuse Dorridge nursery plan, report urges

PLANS for a major new nursery in Dorridge should be refused because it would not provide safe access for pedestrians, a council planning officer has said.


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Councillors will tomorrow be asked to make a decision on The Natural Childcare Company’s plan for a 90-place nursery at Bentley Manor, Box Trees Road.

A Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council planning officer said converting the office building “would provide much needed nursery accommodation to residents of Knowle and Dorridge”.

Yet it raised concerns over access from 50mph Box Tree Road, which has no footpath or lighting.

It says: “The applicant asserts that customers would arrive by car and therefore in the balancing exercise of the benefits of the building in terms of its reuse, employment created and the setting for children using the site outweighs that of concerns for highway safety.

“However, staff will also need to access the site and not all may have access to a car, and there may be occasion where customers using the nursery for reasons outside their control wish to access the site by bus so also requiring walking along Box Trees Road.”

These “significant” concerns “outweigh the benefits provided by the scheme” it said.

The nursery would open from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday and create 25 jobs.

A previous planning application was withdrawn over council officers’ concerns and the new scheme boosts parking spaces from 23 to 30.

And the report said concerns about visibility at the junction into the site had been overcome after more information was supplied.

Two residents supported and two objected to the plan, the report says.

Neil Sayer wrote: “I think that this development is likely to cause extremely dangerous and potentially fatal traffic issues outside its gates.”

Celia Roberts added: “The nearly blind pull-out from Earlswood Road (opposite Bentley Manor) on to Box Trees Road is already hazardous because of the bend and the addition of cars entering/exiting the narrow entrance  to the nursery opposite would add to the danger.”

But Michelle Lister said: “There is currently a lack of good quality childcare in the local area and the proposed nursery will help to address this.”

Abbie Payton said: “I am in support of this application because parents in Dorridge and the surrounding villages are crying out for a good quality private nursery.”

And Rebecca Cooper said “Most parents drive their children (as going on to work etc) so its rural location means that additional traffic will be away from pedestrian areas.”