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Victory for campaigners after Avenue nursery withdraws planning application

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 23 August 2018

Four of the residents of Jacksons Lane who opposed the expansion of neighbouring nursery. From left Ebrahim Ali, Mike Klein, Rani Jowell and Susan Ali with campaign literature. Picture: Polly Hancock

Four of the residents of Jacksons Lane who opposed the expansion of neighbouring nursery. From left Ebrahim Ali, Mike Klein, Rani Jowell and Susan Ali with campaign literature. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Conservation groups and dozens of neighbours are celebrating after a private nursery pulled an “unbearable” expansion bid in Jackson’s Lane.

Four of the residents of Jacksons Lane who opposed the expansion of neighbouring nursery. From left Mike Klein, Ebrahim Ali, Rani Jowell and Susan Ali outside the Avenue Nursery, Highgate Avenue. Picture: Polly HancockFour of the residents of Jacksons Lane who opposed the expansion of neighbouring nursery. From left Mike Klein, Ebrahim Ali, Rani Jowell and Susan Ali outside the Avenue Nursery, Highgate Avenue. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Highgate Society, the Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) and 31 neighbours were up in arms about the proposal for Avenue Nursery and Pre-Preparatory School.

Plans had been submitted to the council to add an extra classroom, toilets and kitchen onto the nursery, so it could accommodate 100 children.

After the Ham&High this week broke the news they were off the table, campaigners were jubilant – but urged caution.

Mike Klein, who lives in Jackson’s Lane, said: “We might have won the battle, but we haven’t won the war.”

Avenue Nursery and Pre-Prep School, Highgate Avenue. Picture: Polly HancockAvenue Nursery and Pre-Prep School, Highgate Avenue. Picture: Polly Hancock

Rani Jowell, whose house backs onto the proposed extension, said it was “excellent” but was also wary.

The Highgate Society’s David Richmond had accused the nursery owners of “deception” after they told him there was “no intention” of having more than 75 pupils.

Rani has lived next door to the nursery site since 2011. She says she has already been forced to keep her doors shut despite the hot weather because of noise, and had called the thought of the expansion “depressing”.

“All this is for the sake of 24 children, compared with the 60 residents nearby,” she said. “I don’t think that’s right. It’s a private school – their families don’t live here.”

Mary Fysh, who owns the nursery, said: “We have listened to the objections and decided to withdraw the present planning application. The school will meanwhile continue to provide the local community with an outstanding, much needed and respected education facility as it has done here since 1989.”

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