Plans approved for new nursery which looks set to create jobs in Hartlepool

Site of the new proposed nursery.
Site of the new proposed nursery.

The green light has been given to plans to create a new nursery and weekend soft play centre.

Hartlepool Borough Council planning bosses have given the go-ahead for proposals to convert a property in the town’s Oxford Road into a new nursery and childcare facility.

The application, submitted earlier this year by Stephen Dowdall, also state they eventually want to rent the building out as a soft play centre for under 10s at weekends.

Mr Dowdall said he and his wife have been in education for more than 20 years teaching in a number of state schools.

He is a qualified headteacher, while his wife is an early years trained teacher.

A design and access statement they issued said it will bring the building back into life and offer the community a nursery on their doorstep.

It said: “We have the vision and the commitment to make a success of a nursery business in this area, bringing a building back to life in a deprived area and bringing employment to Hartlepool.

“We are passionate and believe learning should be fun.

“We are committed to dedicate the funds required to bring life back into this building.

“This will undoubtedly benefit the local area and help breathe life into the surrounding areas which will only strengthen the business growth in the area.

“Jobs will also be created for local people and in turn money will be put back into the local area and community to continue its growth.”

It also states Mr Dowdall and his wife will apply to be registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register.

They will initially target families within walking distance and it is expected no more than 30 children will be at the site at once.

They have also made contact with Hartlepool College of Further Education and plan to offer apprenticeship opportunities and become an employment partner for the area.

The building has been left unoccupied for more than five years and was last used as a builder’s yard.

The plans will create two full-time and two part-time jobs at the site, which will run from 6am until 7pm.

Mr Dowdall said it is unlikely they will be ready to trade on weekends for the first year, but ultimately want to hire the site out for weekend birthday parties, including snacks and drinks, with a maximum number of 25 children on-site.

Parking will remain unaltered and is available throughout the area.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service