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Agenda item

21/00582/FUL - 3 Greenway Close, Shurdington

PROPOSAL: Change of use from residential to dual use (residential/childminding business).




48.29        This application was for change of use from residential to dual use (residential/childminding business).  The Planning Committee had visited the application site on Friday 17 December 2021.

48.30        The Head of Development Services advised that the applicant currently ran a childminding service at the dwelling for up to six children aged eight and under and the application had been submitted as the applicant wished to expand the service to allow a maximum of 12 children aged eight and under to be cared for at the property.  The application had originally been submitted for use between 0730 hours and 1730 hours Monday-Friday; however, since the publication of the Committee report, the applicant had confirmed they would like to open the childminding service on some Bank Holidays.  The application required a Committee determination due to an objection from Shurdington Parish Council on the grounds that it would be detrimental to existing local residents as Greenway Close was a small cul-de-sac which was already used as a vehicle drop-off area for Shurdington Primary School and due to the noise generated by the additional children as well as the children being exposed to pollution due to the proximity to the A46.  It was noted that no objections had been raised by County Highways or the Council’s Environmental Health Officer.  When balancing the needs of the users of the childminding service and the neighbouring residential amenity, it was considered a logical approach would be to allow the business to open on Bank Holidays but to restrict both the opening hours and the number of children at the premises on those days.  Officers considered that a reasonable number of children would be six, given that in most cases a childminding service could care for a maximum of six children aged eight and under without the need for planning permission.  Conditions 3 and 4 had been amended to reflect this as set out in the Additional Representations Sheet, attached at Appendix 1, and the Officer recommendation was to permit the application.

48.31        The Chair indicated that there were no public speakers for this item.  A Member asked whether Ofsted needed to be consulted in relation to the increase in the amount of children being cared for and raised concern about the suitability of the site for a children’s play area as it was more like a hardstanding with associated paraphernalia.  In response, the Head of Development Services advised that there was no obligation to consult Ofsted as part of the planning permission; however, Ofsted was responsible for assessing the property to ensure it was a suitable environment for children from a safety perspective.  The Development Management Team Leader (North) explained that Ofsted had a requirement to visit settings which cared for children aged five and under when the childminding business was initially set-up; further visits were undertaken thereafter but they could be several years apart unless any issues were raised in terms of the service being provided.  Childminders were required to have risk assessments etc. in place and that was all overseen by Ofsted.

48.32        It was proposed and seconded that the application be permitted in accordance with the Officer recommendation.  A Member pointed out that the plans submitted with the application were out of date as there was a conservatory on the rear of the property which did not appear on the plans and seemed to swallow up quite a lot of the available garden space.

48.33        Upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED           That the application be PERMITTED in accordance with the Officer recommendation.

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