A NEW dedicated therapeutic nursery for children under the age of ten is set to be built in Oxfordshire meters from a protected tree area.

No objections were raised at a Wantage Town Council’s planning committee meeting on Monday evening about a proposal to convert a three-bedroom farm house into an independent specialised school.

Councillors also made no additional comments to the application for the land where Manor Farm House on Manor Road currently stands.

The site was purchased by Calcot Services for Children – a charity with bases in South Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, which looks after children with learning and behavioural difficulties who cannot live with their families.

Also read: David Beckham poses with fan during Halloween shopping trip

Children placed in their homes may be at risk of sexual exploitation, offending behaviours, self-harming and may be victims of sexual abuse, neglect and domestic violence.

The charity was also nominated for a cluster of awards at the National Children and Young People Awards this year.

The therapeutic nursery would cater for early years children with learning difficulties and specialist needs.

It would provide a ‘forest school’ environment where learning and development includes ‘embracing natural and outdoor environments’.

Herald Series:

The operation was proposed to have a capacity for up to 15 children, aged three to ten years, with at least nine staff members required.

The application is also accompanied by a tree protection plan and a construction exclusion zone as the new building and the 12 parking spaces are meters away from ‘high and moderate quality’ trees such as the unusual Common Beech, Common Ash and Crack Willow.

As one of the main conditions to the proposal, barriers to protect the trees will be erected to the north of the parking spots and the building.

Beyond these areas there will also be a construction exclusion zone where no contractors will be allowed to venture.

Also read: Golf day in aid of A40 crash family

A request from Wantage Town Council that is included in the proposal stated: “In the event of any trees or shrubs so planted dying or being seriously damaged or destroyed within five years of the completion of the development, a new tree or shrub shall be planted and properly maintained.”

Another condition for the build of the therapeutic nursery is the installation of a pump station to connect with the drainage system as the old part of the property is connected to a cesspool.

The works are expected to set Calcot Sevrices back by almost £22,000.

The next stage of the approval process will see the proposal discussed by Vale of White Horse District Council, as the local planning authority.

To find out more visit the district council’s planning portal using reference P20/V2546/FUL