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Hornsea Nursery School expansion plans not supported by town council

    By Andrea Kirk  

HORNSEA Nursery School are at the centre of another planning application debate in Hornsea as Hornsea Town Council voted to not support an application to expand the learning space.

The vote was made at a Hornsea Town Council meeting on Monday, July 9.

The plans would see a single-storey building built behind the nursery school on the woodland area that is currently part of the forest school. This building would be used to support and further the aims of the current outdoor activity space which has been created within the woodland site. The planned forest and arts centre building would be a classroom and arts centre, housing a small kitchen, toilets, art space, kiln and screen printing press.

The design supports the usability by adults and children and will be finished in timber to blend into its surroundings with most of the light from roof windows to prevent overlooking.

Some residents living on the nearby Willows Drive and those backing onto the site from Football Green have placed objections to the plans as well as approaching Hornsea Town Councillor, Kevin Nicholson who met with the residents prior to the Hornsea Town Council meeting on Monday, July 9. The residents’ concerns include predominantly issues regarding lack of parking within the area with vehicles parking in front of residents’ driveways and causing congestion in the small cul-de-sac, noise from the site no longer being limited to school time, concern the new access pathway will require lighting near to their windows and security issues at their property boundaries with some residents claiming incidents have been caused with this in the past.

There have also been objections made about the building taking up a large area of the forest school with the willow activity space and outdoor classroom being removed plus the loss of mature trees on the northern boundary and concerns about a subsequent loss of habitat for birds and wildlife.

Many comments of support have since been lodged on the application citing the extra learning opportunities children would have as the primary reason for the development to go ahead.

Claire White, headteacher at Hornsea Nursery School spoke to the Gazette about the plans and the concern from nearby residents and said: “The governors and I work tirelessly to ensure the children of Hornsea have the very best start in life. This innovative project for a Forest School and Art Centre would give the children of the nursery school and the primary school access to the Forest School all year round allowing them to experience seasons and benefit from the combination of expressive arts and outdoor learning. In addition, it will give the children easy access to toileting facilities and warmth.

“We are very excited about this project and have teamed with Hornsea Arts Society with the view that artists could use the space and display their work alongside the children’s. This would be an amazing intergeneration project as well as allowing childrento work in a ‘real’ artist’s space surrounded by inspirational art work.

“The governors and I are sympathetic to the concerns of residents of Willows Drive. However, I believe there is misconceptions regarding public access. At the moment the nursery school has regular open days, parent groups, the Scout and Brownie groups have used Forest School and it is this public usage that would continue as well as working with the Hornsea Arts Society.

The usage of the site would be regulated by the school and simply not an open door as some perceive. After hours the school car park would be used ensuring no added pressure on the parking issues on Willows Drive.”

Following a backlash from some parents of pupils at the nursery school about Cllr Nicholson’s support of the Willows Drive residents and the consequent vote by the council to not support the plans, Cllr Nicholson has confirmed he hopes to meet up with some of the parents soon to discuss this further.

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