PUB CONVERSION: Walsall establishment to become day nursery
A Walsall pub which has stood empty for almost two years will be converted into a day nursery despite concerns about traffic and noise problems.
Simrat Kang will open a 50-place facility on the former Cambridge public house, in Cambridge Street, to serve families in the area.
This is the second application by Mrs Kang as a previous application was refused for a number of reasons including impact on traffic and increase in noise and disturbance.
But officers said these issues had been overcome and recommended approval. Walsall Council’s planning committee approved her proposal on Thursday (March 4).
Mrs Kang said the new facility would provide much needed services in the area, which lost Palfrey Day Nursery in 2019.
Palfrey ward councillor Sabina Ditta spoke against the plan at the meeting, saying residents were still worried about congestion and parking issues.
She said: “In principle I’m not against a day nursery being provided in the area.
“My main concern and that of residents who approach me is to do with the location of this application. We feel the location isn’t suitable based on the fact parking and traffic would be an issue for us.
“Parking is a big issue in our area, the way the streets are very narrow, there is parking on both sides and residents have difficulty parking there and this would then impact that if there was a day nursery.
“It is for local residents and they would be expected to walk but we do know that is not always the case.
“It is a one-way street and this is at the junction so we’re worried in the morning as there are drop-offs and with schools restarting, how that will impact in terms of traffic flow and congestion.”
Mrs Kang said: “The pub was purchased vacant as the previous owners decided to close down due to lack of business and demand.
“I’ve been running and managing nurseries for nearly 18 years now and currently have one in Walsall trading for seven years which was also a former public house.
“The proposal will bring a disused property back into use creating jobs and bringing vibrancy back into the area. It will also be a community facility for children, preparing them and getting them school ready.
“The primary aim is to create childcare places for vulnerable disadvantaged children who are two, three and four years old.
“I understand and appreciate concerns local residents have regards noise pollution and disruption, I can assure noise levels will be managed and monitored.
“The nursery is going to be open five days a week. It is not a school like institution where start times and finish times are the same for all. There will not be an influx of traffic at the beginning and the end of the day.”
Words: Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter
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