Councillors throw out plan for nursery move

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A PLAN to relocate Racing Start Nursery School from Market Rasen Racecourse to De Aston Field has been reject by town councillors.

Lincolnshire County Council’s children’s services department asked Market Rasen Town Council to support the scheme and then look at spending £17,500 of the town’s Section 106 money on developing an access road for the field.

But after hearing angry protests from residents who attended the meeting last Wednesday, members of the town authority resolved to reject the nursery project by a split vote, four in favour, six against and one abstention.

Cathy Turner was one of the residents who voiced her opposition to the plans and her concerns about drainage on De Aston Field.

She said: “I have gone through flooding for the past two years and Lincolnshire County Council did not want to know anything about it.

“You are actually suggesting to build directly at the bottom of my garden which will flood every year.”

But Julie Grindley from the county council’s children’s services department said that following feasibility surveys on a number of sites, De Aston Field was the last option available and the plan’s rejection would have serious consequences for the town’s provision of pre-school education and would directly affect the families of those children at Racing Start Nursery.

She said the building the nursery school was currently housed in was not suitable for use and could not be redeveloped at its current location because of Market Rasen Racecourse’s plans for the land.

Assistant director of children’s services, Debbie Barnes, said: “Before we complete an initial feasibility study about how a much-needed facility for families might come to fruition in the area, we were interested to explore at an early stage whether the town council would support the concept of us using part of this site and if it might want to contribute towards making a car park area bigger for possible future recreation use of the remaining land.

“The Willingham Road site, that LCC own, is the only potentially suitable location for the facility.

“We had some useful discussions with the town council, that also allowed some inaccuracies to be cleared up.

“We will be reviewing our proposals in light of these discussions and any plan taken forward will be submitted as a full planning application and will involve public consultation as we are keen to hear the views of the local community.”

Councillors were told West Lindsey District Council still holds £90,000 earmarked to provide leisure facilities on De Aston Field and Steve Mason, from Lincolnshire County Council children’s services said he was sure the authority’s resources department would welcome an approach from the town council to buy the land.