Kids Inc staff celebate end of 18-month planning battleBy Becky Barnes
January 31, 2013
Delighted children and staff have finally been given planning permission for their nursery revamp after an 18-month battle.
Kids Inc Nurseries in Dukes Ride, Crowthorne, learnt on January 2 that works, including the extension and conversion of the former Little Red House Nursery, had been given retrospective planning permission.
Linda Mills, Kids Inc area manager, said: “We are really pleased about the planning permission and we are now looking to the future.”
When the company took over the empty building in 2009 and carried out building work in 2010 before applying for permission, it sparked furious objections from neighbours with Bracknell Forest Council refusing planning permission.
Linda said Kids Inc understood change could be unsettling for people but work had been carried out to make facilities for children in Crowthorne ‘the very best’.
Permission was refused in both July and November 2011 on the grounds the new mock-Tudor design was ‘out of keeping with the local area’ and despite support from Crowthorne Parish Council, the borough council ordered the removal of work carried out on the building.
However, the company appealed to the Government Planning Inspectorate, and has now been granted permission for all the work, with only the tarmacing of the car park left to do.
Jeni Sutton, nursery manager, said: “We are really pleased.
“I read about the objections online and feel it is such a shame and I hate to think it would put parents off.
“We are still new to the community and want to be accepted and move forward in a positive way.”
Jeni made efforts to connect with the community with children and staff delivering Christmas cards and she has plans for fetes and summer festivals later this year.
She said: “We would love to welcome the community to look around our amazing facilities, whether or not they have children.
“The nursery has been completely restructured with lots of space, fewer children and an outdoor play area – a lot of thought and design has gone into this.”
The nursery, which has 14 full-time staff and 51 children aged three to school age, received ‘outstanding’ in its 2011 Ofsted.
The team would like to welcome the community to its open day on Saturday, February 16, 10am to 1pm.