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Turning a three-bedroom Barkingside home into a children’s nursery is a “ridiculous” and “outrageous” suggestion according to one councillor, who does not want to see the house used as a “cash cow”.

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Cllr Ruth Clark spoke out after Fahmida Shah, who owns Fareacres Pre-School & Day Nursery in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill and Chelmsford Road, South Woodford, applied for a third premises in Horns Road.

The application to convert the property into a nursery was denied last year on the grounds the proposal would result in the loss of homes and the extension would be intrusive.

Cllr Clark said: “When you move into a residential street, you want it to stay a residential street.

“You don’t expect to find a business next door, but it’s becoming more and more common. I’d hate to find 35 children were playing next door. They’ve basically bought a house as a cash cow, it’s outrageous.”

It was also stated in last year’s decision that the plans had inadequate parking spaces and nearby residents would suffer noise disturbance.

Cllr Clark added: “The house is on a busy road which is used as a bypass route, so there would be no place to drop children off. There are plenty of empty parades and business premises that would be much more suitable.

“Bringing 35 children into the road is a ridiculous suggestion. The idea of turning a house into a business is wrong.”

No formal objections to the scheme were received, and Mrs Shah said: “We have no problems or complaints from our current neighbours.

“Early years provisions are at the heart of any community just like youth provisions or doctor’s surgeries. Many of our mothers work and having local nurseries is crucial for them in order to continue earning a living.”

Mrs Shah argues a “large majority” of early year nurseries in Redbridge are in converted residential properties.

She added: “We have a government who is encouraging more free provision for children, and we have a borough who shows such little regard for proposals for small nurseries.”

• What do you think? Email newsdesk@ilfordrecorder.co.uk or start a conversaiton on www.streelife.com.

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