Opinions divided on new building for Saltdean nursery

Nearly 200 people have weighed in with their views on replacing a temporary building which houses a nursery.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Gingerbread Nursery building

Gingerbread Nursery’s application to replace its current cabin with a brick building next to the barn in Arundel Drive West, Saltdean, has attracted 126 letters of support and 67 objections.

Rottingdean Coastal Conservative councillor Mary Mears asked for Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee to decide the application if officers recommended that it was approved.

Councillor Mears said: “This application is for an extension to an existing nursery in the grounds of a public park.

“A public park need to be protected for residents as a green open space in a build-up area.

“My concern with the proposed application is the footprint of the design, taking up all the existing space the applicant already has.”

She asked for a review of parking in the area as pick-ups and drop-offs would increase.

Some of those opposing the plans were concerned about the effect on the park.

One anonymous objector on the council’s website said: “The new design is not in keeping with the grade II listed barn which will overshadow the historical building in the park.

“Gingerbread Nursery has gradually expanded their footprint in the park with a very high wooden fence.

“There is already an issue with parking in the area of the park.”

Increased numbers and the impact on parking were the focus of another objection.

The anonymous comment said: “There is already very limited parking facilities for staff, parents and park users.

“An increase of numbers of children attending the nursery will further add to this problem, causing potential danger to pedestrians due to people having to park on double yellow lines and a build up of parked cars on the narrow road.

“More staff will be needed due to the increase in child numbers, meaning more staff cars being parked and parents in an already limited parking space area.”

The new building would allow Gingerbread to increase its numbers from 30 to 42 children with a floor space increasing in size from 92 square metres to 147 square metres.

The plans include office space, a disabled toilet and a soft play room.

The neighbouring Saltdean Barn is also used as a separately-run nursery and pre-school.

Even some supporters were concerned about congestion on the street when parents were parking.

Saltdean Barn – Picture by Simon Carey / geograph.org.uk

One anonymous comment on the council website said: “I often walk in the park and the current building is shabby and unpleasant.

“A new modern building and facilities would greatly enhance the look and also the options for parents in choosing day care for pre-school children.

“My only request would be that parents of both nurseries use the car park when taking children to the nurseries instead of the road.”

Others described the design of the building as an improvement on what was currently there.

Another comment said: “Some objections state this will impact users of the park, is not in keeping with the adjacent listed building and the increase in traffic is a hazard.

“I see no detrimental impact for other park users as the design stays within existing boundaries.

“The proposed design is modern in appearance and I feel would complement the adjacent building not detract and is a vast improvement on the structure currently there.”

The council’s Planning Committee is due to decide the application on Wednesday (12 June).

The committee meeting is due to start at 2pm at Hove Town Hall and should be open to the public.

  1. Adrian newnhan Reply

    Most of the objections are based on a pro forma distributed by the local residents association. Much of this is factually innacurate (dimensions, numbers of children etc) and so the unwittingly objectors have repeated those errors. Without the mailing lists and resources available to the residents assoc, almost double the number of residents wrote supporting the plans.

    Planning officers are recommending approval. It also needs to be noted that this nursery was in place well before the neighbouring one moved in and expanded.

    If it were to be refused now, it would be for political not planning reasons and questions would need to be asked

  2. Mrs Kathleen Hill Reply

    The current building is an eyesore and the parents, children and staff deserve better. I support the application

  3. Argusnot Reply

    Approved!

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