Day nursery application rejected, despite huge support

A children's nursery run from a residential estate house on a Normanton cul-de-sac has been refused permission, despite dozens of letters of support.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 10:46 am

The Sunflower Daycare Nursery submitted a retrospective application for a mixed change of use of their premises on Clement Close, to be part dwelling, part nursery.

It was backed up by more than 32 letters from parents of children who attend, but Wakefield Council planners rejected the proposals, saying it has a detrimental effect on neighbours.

The nursery has been operating for seven years, and as a registered childminder, applicant and owner Teresa West says there has been no complaints made to them.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The property in Normanton.

She had wanted to operate between the hours of 7.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, with a maximum of 18 children on site at once.

To limit noise disturbance, it was proposed that a maximum of six children be permitted to play outside at any one time.

However, the planning officer commented: "Any conditions restricting the number of hours of outdoor play for children would not be reasonable or fair."

They added: "The proposal has been carefully assessed and considered and although it is considered to be policy compliant in respect of highways, drainage and crime and anti-social behaviour, the proposal by virtue of the nature of the use and the proximity of the application site to other neighbouring residential uses, would be significantly detrimental to the living conditions at neighbouring residential uses."

There was also one letter of objection, claiming the deeds state that a business can not operate from the site. They also made reference to the amount of noise coming from the nursery.

However, there was no shortage of support, including from Wakefield Council’s Early Years Sufficiency and Information, stating that the "closure of the nursery would impact on the council’s duty under the Childcare Act 2006 to ensure there are sufficient childcare places for parents of children up to the age of 14 who wish to return to work or access training".

One of the 32 letters of support read: "I fully support the request of this planning application. This childcare setting has been for some time now with only a positive effect on the surrounding areas, providing local, reliable and excellent care for local children.

"Modifications have been made to allow space for staff and public parking meaning there is no disturbance to the local houses."

Another said: "I fully support this, If it wasn't for Teresa and the team my wife and I would not have been able to work through this pandemic, the support and education they provide to the children that go to this childminding establishment is unprecedented. All the team are helpful and happy."