Temporary nursery approved for Upper Heyford

MHBG-15-09-11 Upper Heyford Air Base The air base at Upper Heyford was opened to then public for the first time in 15 years. Pictured - Hangers that stored aircraft such as F1-11's and the Heyford bombers. Guarded by watch towers. ENGNNL00120111209144240

A new nursery will be coming to Upper Heyford after planning permission for a temporary building, play space and parking was approved by the council.

Cherwell District Council’s planning committee gave the green light for a pre-fabricated structure on Camp Road to house an early years day nursery for 10 years at its meeting on Thursday (October 26).

Planning officers recommended approving the application as the social and economic benefits of a nursery outweighed the harm to the landscape and location.

Upper Heyford Parish Council backed the proposal, describing it as ‘a much needed amenity for the rapidly expanding residential development’ – more than 1,000 homes will be built on the nearby former airbase.

The council also said a location for a permanent nursery must be included in the ‘master plan’ for the housing site.

Concerns were raised about the impact on the heritage of the former RAF base and in an ‘unsuitable’ location for public transport.

Committee chairman Cllr David Hughes said: “Now that families can request up to 600 free hours a year at the nursery, we have to make sure that there are enough facilities to cover the growing demand.

“This is indeed a much needed amenity for the rapidly expanding residential area of Upper Heyford and we would rather provide it sooner on a temporary basis. We will then identify the best site for a permanent building when the Heyford Park development is completed.

“What’s more, thanks to the nursery, more jobs opportunities will be created in the area for those who want to work in the childcare sector.”

Oxfordshire County Council, as the local education authority, is also supporting the building of this new provision as it will meet the needs of additional families that will live in Heyford Park.

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