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Plan for nine-storey office building in South Woodford branded 'absolutely ludicrous'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:03 06 June 2019

The plan proposes to demolish this nursery in South Woodford and replace it with a nine-storey office building. Picture: Google

The plan proposes to demolish this nursery in South Woodford and replace it with a nine-storey office building. Picture: Google

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Plans to demolish a nursery in South Woodford and build a nine-storey office building in its place have been met with objections from local residents.

The plan proposes to demolish this nursery in South Woodford and replace it with a nine-storey office building. Picture: GoogleThe plan proposes to demolish this nursery in South Woodford and replace it with a nine-storey office building. Picture: Google

The site in Eastwood Close is currently a two-storey nursery called Incey Winceys and the proposal is to demolish the building and construct a new nine-storey office building with space for a nursery on the first two floors.

South Woodford Society, a group aiming to stop over-development of the area, said the proposal was out of character and not in line with the local plan.

Rena Pathak from the group said: "I'm really sick of selfish developers thinking they can do what they want in South Woodford. It's the community that suffers - there's nothing in this plan which offers support to the community.

"I don't think it will be used for offices. Where is the business plan to show there is demand for that many offices in the area?"

The planning application has received 35 representations from residents, with many commenting that the plans are not in keeping with the surrounding area and a nine-story building would "dominate the landscape".

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In consultation with the council, Mr Mohammad said: "The parking facilities are woefully inadequate given the extra workers, and the impact on the surrounding with regards to pollution, traffic and noise would not be welcome. We have such a lovely area - why are we trying to destroy it with high rise buildings and congestion?"

In his representation, Paul Norfolk, a South Woodford resident for 51 years, added: "When is this going to end? The village feel of South Woodford is being decimated bit by bit. A nine-storey building is way too big for our area. It simply would not be allowed in central Wanstead so why in South Woodford? The area has changed beyond belief already and this will add to [the] South Woodford village feel being gone forever."

In the design and access statement, the applicant said: "The proposals are designed to improve the quality of the day nursery and provide new employment opportunities whilst enhancing the character of South Woodford by creating a sustainably designed and constructed new landmark building."

Hannah Ince, managing director of Incey Wincey's Day Nursery, told the Recorder this current application is just the latest in a number of attempts to redevelop the Station Estate.

She said: "We will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Incey Winceys in October and have fought hard to ensure that whatever plans go ahead we have our nursery on site.

"We are a 'home from home' setting, a family run business, and we would prefer, naturally, to keep our setting as it is: a nurturing environment that we cultivated over 10 years of which we are proud and shows testament to the many children who we have looked after.

"Our main priority is the quality of childcare that we have always delivered for our children, parents, and staff and as a business owner that is paramount.

"We have contingency plans should this be approved, and are in communication with all parties involved to ensure that there will be no interruption to the childcare we provide. We are of course keeping our parents informed, and will continue to do so."

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