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Plans for Welsh language nursery in Newport scrapped

10 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Wern Business Centre was the proposed site for Rogerstone Nursery – Photo credit: Google

Rhiannon James, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for a Welsh-language nursery in Rogerstone have been refused by Newport City Council’s planning department, due to safety concerns.

The office block at Wern Business Centre was proposed to have a nursery with a capacity of 50 children at one time.

Tots-Play company is located on the ground floor of the building at the industrial estate – which the council has confirmed only has permission for office-use.

In it’s refusal of the nursery, the council stated that the site would not have “suitable and safe access arrangements” for children, due to the area being used by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV).

Submitted as part of the planning application, the design and access statement described the area as “thriving”, as it is changing from industrial-use to a community.

It added that there is “no history of problems”.

A 5mph speed limit and a one-way system was to be adopted for those driving to the nursery – if plans were approved.

The nursery was proposed to be open from 7.30am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, and employ ten members of staff.

Safety

A Newport City Council spokesperson said: “Safety of potential users of the nursery was the paramount issue when it came to considering this application.

“The proposed location of the nursery is on a busy industrial estate, in an area used for storage and distribution with regular movements of heavy good vehicles. This raised significant concerns about the potential with users of the nursery and potential for conflict given the proposed site layout and operation.

“The proposed site is not considered an appropriate location for childcare or child-centred activities. A previous application for a child’s play area and café was refused within the industrial estate.”

In the planning application, the applicant notes cites Tots-Play as an existing business that brings children to the industrial estate.

The council said: “There is no planning permission for the building used by Tots-Play to be used for child-related activities or sessions for children and parents. The authority understands the site is used as an office for the company.

“If it is already being used as anything other than offices, then an investigation for a potential planning breach will be undertaken.”

Constructive dialogue

Manager of Wibli Wobli Nursery, Natasha Baker said she’s part of ongoing constructive dialogue with Newport City Council’s planning department regarding safety concerns.

She added that revised plans are in the process of being submitted and has every expectation that planning permission will be granted.

Natasha Baker said: “I am confident that the nursery will provide very safe access for parents to drop off and collect their children, which unlike many nurseries, will not involve parents having to park on-street with all the inherent risks associated with that.

“This will include a dedicated off-road area with parking for in excess of 10 vehicles which will be entirely separate from the access to the warehouse storage facility which currently remains at the back of the site. I have every expectation that the nursery will be able to open in March and provide Newport’s only Welsh-language daycare nursery.”


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Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago

Why are there no safety concerns for the English language Tots play group , who have children from birth up to 3 years old on the site. Seems odd to me.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
28 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Yes indeed, but if one thinks ‘administratively’ nothing has happened to make the Council consider the planning issues relating to the current nursery since it is already in existence. However, if it were to apply for planning permission for (say) an extension then the rules would be read and applied.

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