Vacant Clayhall bowls club could be turned into nursery
PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 February 2020
A vacant bowling pavilion in Clayhall could be saved from disrepair and squatters under new plans to turn it into a nursery for 30 children.
Knowledgems Day Nursery has submitted a planning application to Redbridge Council to convert the former bowls club in Clayhall Park into an "alternative and viable commercial use for the premises".
The organisation said it is committed to "ensure safety of children and provide a secure and stimulated environment to fully prepare them for the world of tomorrow".
The proposed nursery would operate 7.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, with six full-time staff and two part-time staff, looking after 30 children.
The main hall would be divided into various zones for different age groups and the nursery would use the bowling club grounds as outdoor play space.
There would be three designated parking bays for parents to drop off their children by car, with vehicle access from Longwood Gardens and pedestrian access from Longwood Gardens and Lord Avenue.
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"The proposed day nursery use would provide an alternative and viable commercial use for the premises," the applicant said.
"It would maintain and promote the lawns and would bring the site back into beneficial use which is supported by council and national policies.
"The proposed nursery would maintain the traditional facade of the bowling pavilion and in this way the building would remain a local place of interest and would be safeguarded from disrepair, squatters and anti-social behaviour."
The bowls club would have been a "vibrant" part of the community back in its heyday, the applicant said, but changing demographics and shifting interests in other sports led to a decline in membership and it was eventually closed.
"The proposal would bring about the re-use of a vacant site for a much-needed community use," the applicant said.
"The use of the site by the local residents would help support local vibrancy and develop interaction amongst communities.
"It will bring benefits in terms of enhancing the setting of a building of local interest back to life, along with providing jobs to the local area.
"We understand that the development would prove to be useful on all the fronts and therefore planning permission should be granted."
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