No decision over nursery building

Oxford Mail: Manager Sylvie Ellier-Bogue Buy this photo » Manager Sylvie Ellier-Bogue

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.”

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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.

Comments (3)

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6:47pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Feelingsmatter says...

Direct access to open space? So the massive garden on Faringdon Road isn't open space then? I can only imagine the impact of extra cars going in and out on a busy road like Marcham Road from 07.30. How can it NOT impact on traffic congestion? Seems like a strange reason to relocate as opening times could have been changed without moving, surely. .
Direct access to open space? So the massive garden on Faringdon Road isn't open space then? I can only imagine the impact of extra cars going in and out on a busy road like Marcham Road from 07.30. How can it NOT impact on traffic congestion? Seems like a strange reason to relocate as opening times could have been changed without moving, surely. . Feelingsmatter

3:25pm Thu 22 Nov 12

M7 says...

To Feelingsmatter - My child currently goes to St Mary's and yes they do have access to the big garden at the back but only through one door that is not connected to any of the rooms. Most nursery have rooms that have direct access to outside and this is one of the benefits that the new building will offer to the babies & toddlers attending. The opening times have been printed incorrectly we have been told that it will be open from 7am till 6.30pm in order to help reduce extra traffic on the Marcham Rd. Nursery is not like school where there is a specified start time so us parents are able to drop off our children at anytime. The main reason for the change is to move to bigger premises to allow more children to attend this highly respected and popular nursery.
To all at St Mary's I am very excited about the move to the new building!
To Feelingsmatter - My child currently goes to St Mary's and yes they do have access to the big garden at the back but only through one door that is not connected to any of the rooms. Most nursery have rooms that have direct access to outside and this is one of the benefits that the new building will offer to the babies & toddlers attending. The opening times have been printed incorrectly we have been told that it will be open from 7am till 6.30pm in order to help reduce extra traffic on the Marcham Rd. Nursery is not like school where there is a specified start time so us parents are able to drop off our children at anytime. The main reason for the change is to move to bigger premises to allow more children to attend this highly respected and popular nursery. To all at St Mary's I am very excited about the move to the new building! M7

3:03am Sun 25 Nov 12

Feelingsmatter says...

Well, M7, you should have written the report, because you clearly have a much better idea of what's going on than the reporter does. As for your comment about opening hours, I am a parent too, and I understand that opening hours will differ depending on demand.
Well, M7, you should have written the report, because you clearly have a much better idea of what's going on than the reporter does. As for your comment about opening hours, I am a parent too, and I understand that opening hours will differ depending on demand. Feelingsmatter

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