Agenda item

14/01509/FUL - 241 Park Road, Peterborough, PE1 2UT


The planning application was for an additional single storey building at 241 Park Road, Peterborough for childcare provision.


The main considerations were:

·         Expansion of an existing education facility

·         Parking and highway implications

·         Design and impact upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area

·         Neighbour amenity


It was officer’s recommendation that planning permission be refused for the reasons set out in the report.


The Head of Development and Construction provided an overview of the application and raised the following key points:

·         The site currently catered 52 child spaces. The proposals would increase this to 76. No additional staff would be required.

·         The development would fill a grass play area between two existing buildings and would be 2.9 tall with a flat roof.

·         The site currently provided eight parking spaces, however this was reduced to four when taking into account turning space. Discussions were being had with adjacent property owners to obtain an additional two spaces.

·         Site visits had been undertaken by the planning officer where it was observed that cars were parking on the pavement or blocking the car park, which resulted in stacking.

·         Refusal was recommended on the grounds of parking, overdevelopment, impact on neighbour amenity and noise and disturbance.

·         An additional objection had been received from Stewart Jackson MP as well as two additional letters of support from Early Years staff.


Councillor Shearman, Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) stated that great weight needed to be placed upon the expansions of schools.

·         There was a shortfall of places in the area, which had been increased by the Government initiative to provide places for more two year olds.

·         Education standards needed to be raised in the area and could be done through more spaces in this outstanding nursery.

·         There were challenges to meet regarding car parking, however teachers urge parents to be sensible.

·         It was hoped that conditions could be suggested to deal with the parking arrangements, such as a staggered start or off-peak hours, and planning permission be granted.

·         The nursery was in a residential street, however permission had been granted for nursery use.


Andrew Brown addressed the Committee in objection to the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         Mr Brown lived in the property neighbouring the site and was Chair of Governors and Kings School, as such he had an interest in the safety of young people.

·         If this proposal was approved, 50% of the site would be built on. Only a small section of the site would be left for play space for up to 76 children.

·         The proposal represented overdevelopment which the street would be unable to accommodate.

·         It was believed that the nursery did not currently operate at maximum capacity, so additional spaces were not required.

·         The shortage of spaces was prevalent in other areas and would mean that parents would travel from further afield.

·         The access was designed for a residential dwelling. As such, reversing out of the site caused significant problems. The traffic was more noticeable as the nursery increased in size.

·         Funding on expansion would be better spent elsewhere.

·         The proposal would constitute overdevelopment regardless of the traffic issues.


Robert Gooding, GOOD-DESIGN-ING LTD, and Pam Setterfield, Targeted Services and Sufficiency Team, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:

·         16,000 extra children were now eligible for child care.

·         This need had been assessed on a local level and Park Ward had been identified as in need.

·         Hours of child care would be delivered outside of peak hours or could be staggered.

·         It was expected that up to 70% of parents would be local.

·         The proposal would link up the existing buildings and would, in fact, help mitigate the noise levels.

·         Access to the play area was staggered.

·         The nursery was operating at full capacity.

·         There were fire assembly points at the front and back of the site, with access along the side.


The Head of Development and Construction advised that conditions could not be imposed on pre-existing development. As such, any condition relating to the hours of use of the proposal would be unenforceable.


The Committee discussed the traffic problems presented by the proposals, such as exiting the site. The fact was highlighted that the proposal was a commercial operation within a residential area. The Committee recognised the importance of child care however considered the site to be an inappropriate location to expand. One Committee Member suggested that the proposal would not make the situation significantly worse than present.


A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be refused, as per officer recommendation. The motion was carried nine voting in favour and one voting against.


RESOLVED: (nine voted in favour, one voted against) that planning permission is REFUSED.


Reasons for the decision


The proposal was unacceptable having been assessed in light of all material considerations, including weighing against relevant policies of the development plan and for the specific reasons given in the report.


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