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Nursery owner will fight against planning decision blocking a third centre in Barkingside

13:15 19 February 2013

A nursery owner who has had her application for a third centre turned down, despite a lack of places for children in Redbridge, is fighting against the decision.

Fahmida Shah, who owns Fareacres Pre-School & Day Nursery in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill and Chelmsford Road, South Woodford, is eager to open a third business but is being blocked by strict planning regulations.

Mrs Shah said: “I am repeatedly being told by children’s services that there is a huge shortage of early years places each term within Redbridge. I am having to turn down children, especially at my Gants Hill nursery, all the time.

“I feel like I’m being let down by Redbridge Council. “Due to my involvement in early years meetings, I am so aware of the needs of the community for provision in the borough which is why I decided to expand here.”

The planning application to turn an empty three-bedroom residential property in Horns Road, Barkingside, into a nursery and day centre for up to 35 children was refused in September, and Mrs Shah is in the process of appealing the decision.

The application was denied last year on the grounds that the proposal would result in the loss of homes which are currently in demand in the area, and the extension would be intrusive for residents in Princes Road.

It was also stated that the plans had inadequate parking spaces and nearby residents would suffer noise disturbance, despite no formal objections being received.

Mrs Shah added: “This is not just a business for me, my first passion is education. I am going to appeal against the decision.

“The architect and I have been working hard to address the reasons for rejection and I am determined to fight this as much as I can.

“But realistically, I am a small business owner and therefore cannot afford to pay a full mortgage on an empty property.”

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