Hartlepool children's nursery to become flats after plans approved despite objections

Plans have been approved to convert a children’s nursery in Hartlepool into four flats despite parking concerns around the site.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 10:09 am
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 4:39 pm
The nursery which will become flats
The nursery which will become flats

Proposals were submitted earlier this year by Susan Cawthorne from Lonsdale Nursery at 22 Grange Road in Hartlepool to convert the site into four residential units.

The plans, which went before Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee, state the site would be turned into two two bedroom flats, one three bed, and one single bed flat.

Three objections were submitted to the plans for the flats, which would be split across three floors, primarily raising concerns over issues such as parking and potential noise nuisance.

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However councillors on the planning committee voted to approve the plans, four votes to three, agreeing with the planning officer recommendation to give them the green light.

Laura Chambers, senior council planning officer, said: “The surrounding area is broadly residential in character but it is in close proximity to the town centre and the services and transport links that offers.

“It is therefore considered the proposed use is in keeping with the area and although no dedicated parking is proposed, no objections are raised by HBC (Hartlepool Borough Council) Traffic and Transport given the central location.”

The property will be reliant on on-street parking, but council planning officers said the flats should have no worse impact on parking in the street than the existing nursery.

Council officers also noted in 2007 plans to convert the site, then a doctor’s surgery, into five studio apartments were refused by the council, but subsequently allowed on appeal, dismissing the parking concerns given by the local authority.

The site changed from a doctor’s surgery to a children’s nursery around 2010, which was a permitted change of use.

It is located within a row of terraced properties in Grange Road, and has been in operation for around five years, providing nursery and out of school club care for children from birth to the age of 11.

Planning documents from John Taylor Architects on behalf of the applicant said the privately owned nursery, which currently provides care for around 75 children, is part of a chain of four sites, with another also located on Grange Road.

A planning statement states the proposals would have no adverse impact on the area, and would in fact help alleviate parking pressures.

It said: “It may be argued that the conversion would reduce parking requirements, currently the numbers of vehicles that park to drop children off and pick during the day is quite high. The change of use would remove this issue completely.”