The Grange nursery plans for new classrooms and offices approved, in Thatcham
Plans for internal alterations to The Grange nursery in Thatcham have been approved by West Berkshire Council with the facility getting new classrooms, offices and WCs.
Applicant Phoenix Childcare Limited put its plans forward in June to change the use of The Grange Nursery in Church Gate to a special education needs (SEN) school.
The approved plans for internal alterations mean between The Mews and The Lodge there will be additional classrooms and offices, the replacement of existing WCs, and a new external door to The Lodge.
There will also be new railings fixed to both the existing and proposed brick walls.
Replacement fencing will also be added.
West Berkshire Council has approved the plans on the basis that the development shall begin no later than three years from now.
The site has been home to a campus of buildings including the children’s day nursery, offices and physiotherapy clinic Harris Mind and Body, which fought to remain on the premises.
The proposed removal of the physiotherapy business raised more than 80 objections.
Owner Phil Harris said: “We're not against the provision of a special education needs site, that's not our objection. It's the disruption to an established family-run business”.
However, Mr Harris and his wife Mrs Harris, were unsuccessful in the battle to keep their business on the grounds.
The SEN school will now accommodate 60 pupils and 25 members of staff.
Thatcham Town Council also discussed the matter at a planning meeting when plans were put forward in June, but no objections were raised.
Former primary school headteacher Paul Field (Ind, Thatcham Central) said: "I can't see any immediate objection and would feel encouraged to support it because it does meet a need that is being sadly overlooked on many occasions."