Plan for Gosport nursery is thrown out by planning board

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Headteacher Douglas Brawley with  Lib Dem Councillor Lynne Stagg outside Copnor Primary School Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180220)

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A BID to build a children’s nursery has been rejected by councillors because traffic would clog up a residential street.

White Horse Child Care wanted to take over Redclyffe House, in The Avenue, Gosport, and turn it into a day care centre for up to 86 children.

But people living in the road told Gosport Borough Council’s planning board traffic problems would make the road dangerous for children and residents.

Councillors refused the application for a change of use because noise levels would disturb those living nearby.

It was also thought the extra cars on the road could lead to traffic and parking problems.

Ward councillor for Alverstoke, Cllr Mark Hook, spoke on behalf of the residents at the meeting last night.

He said: ‘The travel plan says we should encourage parents to act responsibly when parking.

‘But as any of us who take our children to school know, when parents pick up their youngsters they do not always act responsibly.

‘The other main concern is that of noise on the site.

‘We do have a lot of retired people in this particular area.

‘I think the youngsters playing outside would be detrimental to their retirement.

‘We are very keen to bring employment into the town but it most meet the planning guidelines we set.’

The director of the childcare company behind the plans said in a statement: ‘Nurseries are commonplace throughout the country in residential settings and they operate without concern.’

The company also said their plans would bring more jobs to Gosport.

The council was sent 43 letters from people against the plans and three from those in support of them.

A petition was also signed by 46 people.

Mariana Perry-Zoupanou, who lives near Redclyffe House, said: ‘If people want to go out and enjoy their garden in peace and quiet they are not going to have that pleasure again.

‘It is a fully residential road and most people are over 60 and they want their peace and quiet.

‘My main reason for opposing it is the level of danger to traffic at peak times caused by car parking and the inconvenience to the neighbours.

‘There is also the noise level.’

Those who wrote to the council in support of the scheme said it would bring more jobs to the area and provide much-needed childcare facilities.

Redclyffe House was used as a residential home for elderly people with mental health issues.

It was later used as a doctor’s surgery but closed when the service moved to the Gosport War Memorial hospital.

No traffic accidents were reported during the time the surgery was running.

The Victorian building is on the council’s list of buildings of local interest.

The company which wanted to run the day care centre was not planning to make any changes to the outside of the building.