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Strong opposition to Newbury flats plan

Concerns over impact of Greenham Road nursery development

Strong opposition to Newbury flats plan

NEW plans to build an apartment block next to a Newbury nursery have been submitted to West Berkshire Council.

The application from Forbury Gardens Day Nursery, which runs the adjacent Newbury Gardens Day Nursery, proposes a development of 10 one-, two-, and three-bed flats on land to the north of the nursery in Greenham Road.

The plans, however, have been met with some opposition from neighbouring residents, as well as Newbury Town Council, which has raised safety concerns over the effect on the nursery, as well as on nearby properties.

It is the second such application, after plans for a similar build next to the Grade II-listed Greenham House (which houses the nursery) were withdrawn, owing to concerns from planning officers over the scale of the development and its impact on the adjacent dwelling, Rozel, to the west.

According to agent Barton Willmore LLP, the new application for the three-storey development is a more “appropriate and sympathetic scheme” that will “positively enhance the street scene and the character of the area”.

Vehicles will gain access using the nursery’s existing entry from the A339, while parking for 14 cars (including two visitor spaces) and 18 bicycles will be provided.

The site will include a further seven parking spaces for the nursery which, according to the application, expects as many as 16 staff on-site at any one time.

The application has so far received 14 letters of objection, with many raising safety concerns over the increase in traffic using the access from the A339.

One objector wrote: “It is far too large a development for this site… the access/entrance to Greenham Road is far too dangerous and hazardous for cars and pedestrians.”

Another objector said they would look for a new nursery for their child if the proposals went ahead.

The concerned parent wrote: “The reduction in car park spaces for the nursery will mean there could potentially be an impact on the main road just outside of the nursery at peak times.

“This will make it unsafe to drive in and out of the entrance.

“Again unsafe drop-off and collection of very young children.”

A number of objections criticised the impact the development would have on the neighbouring property Rozel, while West Berkshire Council disability external scrutiny board spokesman John Carr asked: “How do elderly and disabled visitors visit people living on the upper floors with no lifts provided?”

The application was also met with an objection from Newbury Town Council when, at a recent meeting of the planning and highways committee, Elizabeth O’Keeffe (Lib Dem, Victoria) raised concerns about the level of parking, as well as the possible safety issues concerning the A339 access.

Ms O’Keeffe also said the development would be “imposing” on Rozel.

The committee objected to the proposals.

A decision on the application will be made by West Berkshire Council in the coming weeks.

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