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Bid to convert West Berkshire Montessori school

The Village Montessori School. (46497343)
The Village Montessori School. (46497343)

AN application for a change of use has been lodged by the owners of The Village Montessori Nursery School in Bradfield Southend.

The school closed in July last year, following almost three decades of work with local children, and owners hope to convert the premises for residential use.

It had provided education to early years pupils aged between two and five, but since its closure the site has lain vacant.

It is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), however, the application stipulates that minimal external alterations will be required in turning the property into a three-bedroom house.

The rear playground would be converted into a private garden and outbuildings retained for use as garden stores, a workshop and a home office.

Laying out the case for the conversion, the applicant said: “The proposed change of use will have little impact on the immediate neighbours, traffic or ecology of the site.

“The existing school building requires very little work to convert to a dwelling with no major building work.

“There are no other realistic uses for the site.

“The pre-application advice was positive except for concerns regarding the site curtilage.

“The proposal shows that the eastern corner of the site will be retained as existing, thus preserving the rural character of the area.

“Vehicular access is existing and the proposed number of vehicle movements for a dwelling will be far less than has been when used as a school.”

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