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Avenue Nursery: Haringey Council approves bid to expand Highgate nursery despite concerns about noise and traffic

PUBLISHED: 15:57 01 July 2019

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

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The controversial bid to expand a Highgate nursery has been given the go-ahead by Haringey Council.

Avenue Nursery and Pre-Prep School, Highgate Avenue N6. Picture: Polly HancockAvenue Nursery and Pre-Prep School, Highgate Avenue N6. Picture: Polly Hancock

Avenue Nursery, in Highgate Avenue, has been granted permission to build a new classroom on its garden. The extension will directly back on to houses in Jacksons Lane, and there was also concerns from neighbours in Highgate Avenue and Southwood Avenue.

While it will allow the nursery to have all 90 of its children on-site at once, only 35 will be allowed in the garden at once, in a bid to try and minimise noise.

The pre-prep and nursery school charges up to £4,900 per term.

Both limits will be written into the planning agreement.

In the heated planning row, those backing and objecting to the plans were in a dead heat, with 53 on both sides.

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However council officers tried to dampen fears of noise problems for nearby properties. In its report, the council said a noise assessment had shown there should be "no increase" in ambient noise. It says: "Acoustic screening and soft landscaping measures are to be provided to help attenuate levels of noise created."

Other groups, including the Highgate Society, said they were worried about the potential increase in traffic. Yet in its report, officers said the amount of additional trips would be "small" and "not sufficient grounds to support an objection to the proposal."

A previous application for an extension was withdrawn in August last year after similar concerns were raised.

The Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee and the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum also sent in objections, as did Highgate councillor Bob Hare.

Rani Jowell, who lives in Jacksons Lane was one of the neighbours who will be affected. She said: "I'm devastated. It's terrible news. I don't know how this will happen. I'm still worried about the noise from it, I think it is going to increase."

Avenue Nursery's principal Mary Fysh said: "We are pleased that Haringey Council have granted our school planning permission for a new classroom so that we will soon be able to offer our local families full day provision for their nursery age children.

"We plan to keep our neighbours fully informed over the coming months once firm building schedules are in place and we will of course aim to minimise any disruption."

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