A NEW crèche could be built in Wantage to provide a better learning environment for children.
Vale Academy Trust, which runs St Nicholas C of E Primary School in East Challow, near Wantage, wants to construct a single-storey, self-contained building with two classrooms on an unused area of the school grounds and has submitted an application to the Vale of White Horse District Council, the planning authority.
A design and access statement prepared by Quattro Design Architects on behalf of the trust said: “The current school, together with its recently opened internal nursery space, has very limited space and cannot currently offer give her children the best possible learning environment. .
“Having considered all options, to minimize disruption to the day-to-day operations of the school, a new separate government-standard teaching building is required.
“The scale and design of the new building is appropriate to the context of the site, the site constraints and respects the character and appearance of the location and its neighborhood.”
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The trust said: “The reason for constructing two new classrooms on the site is primarily to improve and enhance the educational experience for children attending the school.
“This will reduce pressure elsewhere in the school and free up space that can be used for other functions such as breakout rooms, a library and meeting spaces that the school currently lacks.
“In addition, the school recently opened a new crèche to support parents in the local community.
“This proposal will enable the school to provide a dedicated, modern and well-equipped nursery unit that will give young children entering nursery the best possible start to their education.”
However, some neighbors have commented on a possible increase in noise.
Sarah Hare, who lives on Sarajac Avenue, said: ‘Our property shares a boundary with the proposed play area for the new nursery school.
“We recognize the need for the crèche and associated facilities, but during the lockdown this area was used by the school as a play area for some children and the noise levels were unacceptable making our garden unusable during these times.
“We ask that you consider corrective measures, such as taller, soundproofing fences at our border to minimize the noise level.”
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Joe Smith, the council’s senior tree officer, raised concerns about the adequate protection of trees at the site.
He said: “It is recommended that two tree protection plans be produced. One during building construction work – this is essential to ensure that this tree is satisfactorily protected during the main construction phase when larger machinery will be present on site.
“Then, once all major construction machinery has left the site, a separate landscaping tree protection plan should be provided for the landscaping phase.”
The city council is expected to make a decision by August 25.
This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for Oxfordshire newspapers.
Contact her by emailing: [email protected]
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