COUNCILLORS have given retrospective planning permission for a children’s nursery to extend its capacity from 43 to 53 and to boost its staff by 12 to 14 – despite claims visitors block their drives.

Daisy Daycare in the Hindley had already converted two apartments above the former pub building on Castle Hill Road to cope with the extra toddlers.

The first-floor accommodation includes two play/classrooms for children aged up to four years, an office and kitchen dining room, alongside bathroom facilities for the youngsters and an office.

Permitted hours of opening will remain as 7am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. 

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Responding to the resident’s concerns, the owner of the nursery, Jackie McElhatton, has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I am working with parents to try to prevent parking in undesirable places like across people’s drives.

“Because we don’t have any on-site parking we rely on parking on the street.”

She said that parents pick up and drop off their children throughout the day and there are only four cars visiting at any one time, ‘unlike a primary or secondary school’.

Resident Julie Hurst, 62, who lives opposite the side entrance to the nursery on Scott Avenue, in a written objection to the Wigan planning portal, complained that the facility has no on-site parking for its staff and no drop-off or pick-up points.

“There is no parking for clients/parents,” she wrote. “The nursery [owner] also said that the council was doing what it can over parking issues, but if the plan put forward is the best answer it can come up with, it is a complete and utter joke.”

Another letter to the planners delivered anonymously said there was a ‘lack of parking’ near the nursery.

It said: “The nursery staff and parents significantly reduce the off-street parking and create traffic congestion, exacerbating any existing issues.

“There is also noise and disturbance. Quiet enjoyment is a legal requirement in residential property and the significant increase in noise levels and disturbance is cause for planning permission to be refused.”

The author of the letter also complained of blocked access to their driveway. “Other residents cannot get to work [because of this] which is not acceptable,” they said.

A report to the planning committee ahead of its approval of the application says: “The council’s highways highway engineer has not objected to the expansion of the nursery but has highlighted the loading restrictions close to the site, and the lack of on-site parking or loading/delivery [pick-up and drop-off].

“Highways engineers have advised that ‘a delivery and servicing plan’ for the development is required in the interests of highway safety.

“The plan should include contact details of a suitably qualified co-ordinator, how vehicle arrivals, departures, parking, stopping and waiting will be controlled to minimise any impact on the highway.”

A condition has been imposed for a ‘parking management plan’ to ensure that ‘suitable measures’ are put in place during the hours that the nursery is operating.

Ms McElhatton said the nursery would comply with the plan put in place to alleviate pressure on parking nearby.