150-place nursery scheme sparks row over parking

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A PLAN for a 150-place children’s nursery sparked a row over whether to allow it because of parking concerns.

Fareham borough councillors will now go to the proposed site, in Park Gate, next month ahead of making a final decision whether to allow it to open.

An outline application for access, parking and amenity area at 69 Botley Road, was submitted by Angela Vulliamy, who also runs a nursery in Barnes Lane called Woodlands.

But some councillors on the planning committee were concerned about the amount of traffic the site would generate and the car parking being on land classed as countryside and voted against the proposal.

When the Barnes Lane site opened in 2003, it faced the same concerns over traffic congestion, which proved to be unfounded.

Ward councillor Brian Bayford spoke in favour of allowing the new nursery to open.

He said: ‘I’m for it for two reasons — that area needs to be tidied up. Also we have already got the same nursery operating at the bottom of Barnes Lane. It’s an extremely well-run, highly-organised place, so I support the idea of another one opening. It’s something we could do with in that area.’

But Cllr Roger Price said: ‘They want to build a car park on an area which is designated countryside.

‘I cannot see why members are thinking of allowing it.

‘I don’t see the need for a site visit as we have more than enough information.

‘And 150 is a large number for a nursery and Botley Road is not a quiet road.

‘Since Yew Tree Drive has been opened, the volume of traffic is higher then ever.’

Chairman of the committee, Cllr Nick Walker, said: ‘Once you allow buildings of any sort on land designated as countryside you set a precedent. Also the questions of traffic and access for 150 people dropping their children off have not been answered.’

Cllr Bayford said: ‘I remain unconvinced that there will be any serious traffic problems.’

The councillors will go on a site visit and the application will be discussed again on January 29.