Caistor Kindy to close after 30 years as owner plans to retire

Kindergarten pupils ENGEMN00420130916091643
Kindergarten pupils ENGEMN00420130916091643
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A kindergarten in Caistor looks set to close after its owner gained planning approval to knock it down and build a house.

West Lindsey District Council approved the plan last week from sitting member Angela Lawrence.

In August, Coun Lawrence applied to build the two-storey house in the rear of the garden at 14 Whitegate Hill, Caistor.

“Access to the dwelling would be via the current kindergarten car park entrance and a parking and turning area would be formed to the side of the dwelling. The garage originally proposed has been deleted from the scheme to maintain the open character of this part of the site,” said an officers report.

“If this proposal were to proceed the existing kindergarten would close and the building demolished. This would represent a loss to the community. Whilst regrettable there are no planning policies which would restrict its loss. Equally there are other child care facilities within Caistor and attempts to sell the business have not come to anything. Indeed even if permission for the proposal were to be resisted it is likely that the facility would close as the applicant seeks to retire after 30 years of operating the business,” it continued.

West Lindsey’s planning committee heard from officers that councillors were deciding the matter as Angela Lawrence is a councillor, otherwise officers would have dealt with it. Members backed their recommendation.

At the meeting, Coun Alan Caine had “mixed feelings” about the scheme. “We are going to lose a very popular kindergarten. Two of my grandchildren have been there. It’s purely a wooden shed in a garden. They have just celebrated 30 years but the applicant is looking towards retirement. There’s no other suitable Kindergarten at the moment but I am sure someone will start one up.”

Coun Caine added he could see no reason to object and the proposal had only received one letter of objection from Nettleton. Nobody locally had objected.

The Rasen Mail tried to contact Coun Lawrence, but she was not available as we went to press.