Nursery locked in a planning war with neighbours who demand no more than 5 'shrieking children' in playground at once'

The nursery opened in 2000 after it was converted from a residential property. (SWNS)
The nursery opened in 2000 after it was converted from a residential property. (SWNS)

A nursery is locked in a planning war with neighbours who say they want no more than five "shrieking" children in the playground at a time because their noisy play ruins the enjoyment of their gardens.

Located in a leafy suburb of Cheltenham, the Winton House Day Nursery, has been the subject of stringent operating restrictions since it opened several years ago.

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It was converted from a residential property into a nursery for 20 children aged from birth to five years in 2000.

But since then, it received several complaints from a single neighbour, council planners stipulated that no more than five children could play outside at any one time.

The windows must also remain shut at all times to avoid disturbing locals in the residential neighbourhood.

But nursery bosses say the restrictions have become impractical and have applied to have them relaxed to allow 12 children in the playground.

Located in a leafy suburb of Cheltenham, the Winton House Day Nursery, has been the subject of stringent operating restrictions since it opened several years ago.
Located in a leafy suburb of Cheltenham, the Winton House Day Nursery, has been the subject of stringent operating restrictions since it opened several years ago.

They have also requested permission to open nine windows in the six-room baby unit.

However three neighbours have submitted written objections to Cheltenham Borough Council, saying noisy play ruins the enjoyment of their gardens.

One wrote: “Unfortunately when we sit in the garden our pleasure is greatly diminished by the noise of shrieking children.

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“We appreciate that there is a need for nurseries but surely a business such as this would be better sited in an area of family homes.

“We feel that it is rather unfair that we cannot enjoy peace and quiet in our own garden.”

It has a 300 square metre garden which is surrounded by laurel hedging and a cluster of mature trees, beyond which are neighbouring bungalows.

The business has now swelled to accommodate 40 children and says the restrictions are unfair on the children and staff.

Since it opened, it received several complaints from a single neighbour, planners stipulated that no more than five children could play outside at any one time.
Since it opened, it received several complaints from a single neighbour, planners stipulated that no more than five children could play outside at any one time.

The application submitted by the nursery says: "The children who attend Winton Day Nursery are, by virtue of their age and sociability, not excessively loud.

“Any potential noise source, ie babies crying, is not sustained, as it is the job of a nursery to retain a peaceful environment.

“Furthermore, by virtue of their age, the babies have scheduled nap times during the nursery’s opening hours.”

The letter also included: "The words quoted from the application, put in simple lay terms, are saying that expansion equals more children, equals more noise, equals the need to reduce residential amenity to accommodate the increased noise.

“The logic is one-sided and is unreasonable. The currently acceptable situation will deteriorate.

Nursery bosses say the restrictions have become impractical and have applied to have them relaxed to allow 12 children in the playground. (Getty)
Nursery bosses say the restrictions have become impractical and have applied to have them relaxed to allow 12 children in the playground. (Getty)

“Clearly 12 children will make far more noise than five."

One neighbour who lives directly next door to the nursery wrote in support of the nursery's application.

The resident wrote: "Throughout the summer I have the windows open and so am as directly impacted by noise from the nursery and their gardens as anyone could be.

“The noise in the day from the garden is very light, there is a background sound of children playing which is nice and barely noticeable.

“This never disturbs me working in the office and I can't recall a single time when I have been inconvenienced or annoyed by the noise.”

A decision on the application is expected to be made next week.

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