NEIGHBOURS have dubbed an independent childminding business run from a residential property as ‘too big, too loud and too unpractical’.

Natalie Peris, who owns Little Fishes Childminding in Wilkins Way, Wantage, has applied for retrospective planning permission to change the use of her home into a mixed residential and nursery for the care of up to 18 children.

The business first started operating in 2017 in Humphries Green before moving to Wilkins way in November last year.

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Mrs Peris, who has employs two staff members, said there are nine other child minders in the area which are all at capacity so there are ‘still people requiring care’.

However, some neighbours have critiqued the business stating the noise is ‘horrendous’ and it brings in ‘unnecessary traffic’.

Neighbour Claire Siddle added: “This is a retrospective application for a business that has been running for some time now, which the immediate neighbours were not made aware of, nor consulted on until a significant amount of time has passed.

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“It brings a significant amount of unnecessary traffic and subsequent pollution to the end of a quiet cul de sac.

“We have also witnessed the business owner and/or their staff using a minibus to transport children to and from the premises.

“This seems completely at odds with an area that is supposed to be a residential neighbourhood.”

Angela Glen, of Rae Crescent, said she understands the need for childcare, but the business is ‘not suitable’ for the area.

She said: “In these post-covid times, many residents are full-time remote home workers. I am one too. We moved here with the express purpose of being able to quietly work from home, improve mental health, and family well-being.

“We understand that neighbours cannot focus, work, schedule or attend meetings important to work, due to background noise.”

However, some neighbours do not mind the business and have even sent their children there.

Marta Navas, who lives directly behind the business, said: “I have no problem whatsoever, they are really lovely and considerate.”

Gemma Cobb, of Denchworth Road, added: “This business is crucial for the town and the care provided for the children is fantastic.

“Without the childcare they provide many parents would not be able to work due to no other childcare being available in the area.”

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Many parents who use the childminders have praised the business on the planning application submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council.

The planning authority will decide if the business can stay open by November 28.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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