Plans for a new city centre nursery providing care for 100 children with an outdoor play space hav been given the go ahead.
The new children's day nursery plans were approved by Cambridge City Council at a planning committee meeting held yesterday (December 5).
It is set to be built on the existing Faculty of Education car park north of Harrison Drive And west of the Donald Macintyre Building in Hills Road.
The report about the new nursery plans went before Cambridge City Councils planning committee on December 5 and after six councillors voted in favour, the plans were approved.
The planning committee was told: “The nursery would be a single-storey building, oriented along a north-south axis and located in the north-west part of the site, with outdoor play space on the east side and the approach drive, car and cycle parking spaces to the south.
"It would accommodate 100 children, and have a staff of 40.”
According to the report, the outdoor play area will be surfaced in rubber and have an acoustic fence down the east side. Although concerns have been raised by residents living in and close to the area about the impact of the noise.
Although the new nursery plans received approval from the majority who attended, there were some fears from local residents and councillors over noise, and worries about accidents involving cars and cyclists.
Resident Dr Alan Baker said: “I accept this will have a clear noise impact on residents, and additional noise impact which will seriously disturb the tranquillity we enjoy as residents. We think there should be an acoustic fence of twice the thickness.”
The plans were approved by the committee with six councillors voting in favour. Three councillors (Dave Baigent, Carla McQueen, and Katie Thornburrow) opposed the scheme. Councillor John Hipkin abstained from the vote.
Councillor Damien Tunnacliffe tried to reason with residents and said the nursery would only have limited hours and would be closed during “long school holidays”. He said the sound of young children playing is nice, and “part of daily life” anyway.
However, Cllr Baigent said he was “really concerned about the conflict” between people on bikes, pedestrians, and cars.
Agreeing with Cllr Baigent, Cllr McQueen said she was also concerned about cycling safety, and raised worries there could be accidents.
Cllr Hipkin said he was worried about the size of the nursery and the number of children it expected to cater for.
He said that, if it was to be providing spaces for up to 100 children, the current design might fall short of space standards, even if those children arrived in two groups for morning and afternoon sessions.