A delighted husband and wife team have been given permission to turn a disused building in Dorridge into a nursery - despite planning chiefs recommending the scheme be thrown out.
Perplexed councillors at last week’s planning meeting said they could not see a reason why a day nursery at Bentley Manor, Box Trees Road, should be rejected and welcomed the move to bring a derelict building back to life.
Tim Landreth, who runs the Natural Childcare Company with his wife Katie, told members their existing nursery in Shirley offers ‘outstanding’ childcare provision for those aged 0 to five and they already have a waiting list of 36 parents for the new facility.
“My wife identified this site to open a new nursery, the building has been vacant for five years.
“We have a waiting list of parents desperate for us to open and have already had 83 applications for employment. We want to enable local parents to have the type of childcare they deserve.”
Planning officers said there would be no access on foot or by public transport to the nursery and they had concerns over highway safety. But Mr Landreth argued the majority of parents would be dropping their children off by car at staggered times of the day and they would also provide on-site parking.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Ian Courts (Con, Dorridge and Hockley Heath), stressed the need to bring disused buildings back into use and said the nursery would support the Government’s policy in getting people back into work. The businesswould also create 25 extra jobs.
Coun John Windmill (Lib Dem, Olton) added: “We have got to be realistic - we are given government recommendations that buildings in greenbelt not being used have to be bought back into use.”