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No decision over nursery building
UNCERTAINTY surrounds the future of an Abingdon nursery building.
St Mary’s Day Nursery in Faringdon Road has been given planning permission to convert 18 Marcham Road into new premises. But it is not yet known what will happen to the existing nursery building.
Laura Howell, a spokesman for Bright Horizons, which runs the nursery, said: “St Mary’s has been in Faringdon Road for about 15 years.
“The building is leased from a landlord and we don’t know yet what it will be used for in future – as far as we are aware nothing has been decided.”
Vale of White Horse District Council has given Bright Horizons permission to convert 18 Marcham Road, next door to The Unicorn School, into a new nursery.
Following the conversion of the office building, 114 children aged from three months to five will be able to attend the nursery, instead of 74 children at the current site.
Work is now under way and staff hope to open the new building early next year.
To limit the impact on traffic during the rush hour in Marcham Road, the nursery will open earlier – from 7.30am to 6pm instead of 8am to 6pm.
The move follows a questionnaire to parents earlier this year about what facilities they would like St Mary’s to provide.
In a letter to parents this week, manager Sylvie Ellier-Bogue said: “One of the main features you felt were missing was the option for the children to have direct access to the outside space; you also expressed a need for earlier opening hours. As a result of this survey we began looking for new premises and believe we have found the ideal spot which can offer the most important thing to you as parents.
“The new building is located on Marcham Road and is undergoing extensive renovations.”
Staff member Juliet Cox, 27, from Carterton, has worked at St Mary’s for the past five years and her daughter Isabelle, who is two, has attended since she was nine months.
Mrs Cox said: “Since April 2008, we have gone from 80 per cent full to full capacity so expansion makes sense.”
Vale council planners said traffic movements in Marcham Road at peak morning and afternoon drop-off and collection times were “acceptable” when considering the application.
Permission for the move was granted in September.