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Nursery expansion deferred over traffic congestion fears
A PLAN to extend and expand a Marlow nursery was deferred after concerned council bosses called for an independent traffic survey.
The Victoria Children’s Nursery submitted an application to extend its Victoria Road centre and up its intake from 47 to 80 children.
Wycombe District Council’s Planning Committee demanded an independent study after members were surprised that Buckinghamshire County Council raised no highways objections.
Councillors fear the already busy Victoria Road and neighbouring Glad Road – which are surrounded by Marlow Cottage Hospital and a doctors’ surgery – would become gridlocked by the additional traffic.
Cllr Alan Turner said: “It’s already an over congested area and it is going to exacerbate the parking issues. I would suggest we defer until we’ve had an independent survey done on this.
“Did BCC come out to look at this or did they just use the traffic modelling programme on their computers? I can’t see the logic in BCC saying they don’t have a problem with this, enough is enough.”
BCC traffic analysis estimated the extended nursery could be capable of generating 175 vehicles every day – which is an additional 54 trips.
The new proposal does include a travel plan aimed at reducing car usage by ten percent in three years.
A similar application in 2012 was refused due to a lack of on-site parking and a failure to contribute to the Wycombe Transportation Strategy.
Cllr Brian Pollock said while he was sympathetic to the plan as birth rates and the demand for nursery places were on the rise, he did not believe the travel plan would mitigate the increase in traffic movements.
He said: “Even if there is a traffic plan in place for the increased staff, the children are all very young and are not going to be in a position to walk unless they live next door, so parents will have to drop them off.”
Cllr Clive Harriss added: “Parents take their children by car whether they live 100 miles or 100 yards away.”
Marlow Town Council said it was disappointed the plan was not thrown out but pleased its concerns were taken on board by planning chiefs.
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