Plans for nursery at former pub in Peterborough approved after appeal victory

Planning permission has been granted for a nursery at the site of a former pub in Peterborough after a successful appeal.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 7:47 am

Alpha Kindergarten wanted to replace The Fenman in Stanground, which sits on the corner of Whittlesey Road and Coneygree Road, with a nursery for up to 78 children, only to see its application rejected by city councillors last June.

But the plans can now go ahead after the Planning Inspectorate decided that members of the council’s planning committee had not given valid reasons for refusing the application - while the authority will now also have to pay costs to the victorious party.

Dan Slipper, director at Alpha Kindergarten, which currently has a nursery in Fletton Avenue, said: “This decision is fantastic for parents in Stanground and Cardea which are some of the fastest growing areas of Peterborough for families.

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The former Fenman pub

“We know that there is a shortage of childcare places in this part of the city with many local children having to travel to nurseries in other parts of Peterborough, so the newest nursery in the Alpha Kindergarten family will provide much needed choice for parents.”

The former pub will now be demolished with the new nursery opening in 2021.

The planning appeal had been rejected for three reasons. One was due to air pollution from incoming vehicles, but a report of the appeal issued by inspector Mr Hartley said the council had decided not to defend that position after deciding there was “no credible or objective evidence” for this.

Concerns over the level of traffic and noise for neighbours were also not deemed to be significant enough to refuse the application, Mr Hartley ruled, although he set down some conditions for Alpha Kindergarten to follow as it progresses its plans.

Ward councillor Chris Harper, who normally chairs the planning committee but excused himself from voting on the application so he could speak against it, said: “The right of appeal to the government inspector is a lawful and democratic part of the planning system and the result is final so we must accept that decision whilst ensuring the conditions set are adhered to.

“Residents opposed to the development will, I know, be very disappointed at this decision whilst those wanting the nursery will be looking forward to the extra provision promised.”

A council spokesman said: “We accept the inspector’s decision to allow the appeal and in respect of the award of costs.

“At this time we don’t know how much the award of costs will be. The agent will in due course send us an itemised invoice which we will check to ensure that what is being claimed is fair and reasonable.”