PLANS to convert a brand new Crowland home into a pre-school day nursery were rejected by South Holland District Council’s development control committee.
Councillors said the conversion of 1A Harvester Way would harm the residential amenity of neighbouring homes, with residents suffering noise disturbance from children playing outside and the coming and going of vehicles.
Applicant Carol Nobbs was seeking to convert a five-bedroom, detached one-and-a-half storey home into a nursery to open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Crowland Ward member Coun Paul Przyszlak said: “I find this a strange application in that this was newly built as residential – the garage doors weren’t even fitted this morning - I do wonder why it wasn’t applied for as a pre-school nursery in the first place.”
He said Harvester Way was a relatively new road, feeding the employment areas of Crowland, and there were substantial daily traffic movements including 140 journeys by Crowland Cranes alone.
Coun Pryzyszlak believed the application should be rejected on highways grounds aside from objections raised on noise nuisance.
He said: “It is not the proper place to drop people off.”
Fellow ward member Coun Bryan Alcock said: “I would support the comments just made and whilst I accept that this sort of facility is required, this is an inappropriate place to put it.”
Committee members heard county highways had no objection as long as nursery staff could park on site.
Council planning officers recommended approval of the plan.
A written officer report stated there would be noise associated with children playing outside and the back gardens facing Harvester Way were short.
The report continued: “However, the noise will be during the daytime.
“All of the children will not play outside at the same time and overall numbers will be restricted by condition and agreed by Ofsted.”
But Coun Alcock said: “There are people who don’t go to work and they have a right to enjoy a reasonable environment in their back garden.
“If we need conditions to control it, it probably shouldn’t be there in the first place and I would on that basis move refusal.”
Coun Howard Johnson said: “I think nursery provision is required in Crowland but this is not the appropriate location.”
Coun Bob Creese couldn’t imagine how noise nuisance could be controlled by conditions.
He said: “You could get one noisy child that’s as noisy as ten children.”
But Coun Rodney Grocock said all schools were in residential areas and he would find it “very uncomfortable to vote against this”.
The committee refused the application by seven votes to five.