Rift over nursery plan for play area outside Hornsey block

Residents Emily and Annie Arkell in front of the grass area proposed for Creative Explorers Day Nursery

Residents Emily and Annie Arkell in front of the grass area proposed for Creative Explorers Day Nursery - Credit: Polly Hancock

Neighbours are opposing plans to give a nursery a section of outdoor space in front of their block.  

Creative Explorers Day Nursery, in Gisburn Road, Hornsey, has asked to be given exclusive use of a piece of land in Mildura Court, which is managed by Haringey Council.  

This land, currently a section of grass for residents, would be used by the nursery – which is based on-site and currently has no outdoor space – as a small, fenced-off play area.

The nursery says the change would have a “huge impact” on improving the children’s teaching, learning and safety. 

But more than 40 neighbours from Mildura Court have signed a petition opposing the proposal, put to Haringey Council.

The stretch of grass that caused the dispute 

The stretch of grass that caused the dispute - Credit: Creative Explorers


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Resident Emily Arkell told the Ham&High: "I am really concerned about this proposal which at best seems hurried and at worst is ill-thought through.” 

Emily added: “Tenants and leaseholders at Mildura Court will be negatively affected as we will lose our right to outside space which has been vital for our wellbeing during the pandemic.” 

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Creative Explorers, a private nursery that has 45 places for children aged up to five, said that its current absence of outdoor space hampered children’s learning.  

It claimed that using local parks was “inefficient” and that antisocial behaviour in the area had increased “rapidly”. 

Nursery manager Reena Takhar said: “We hope that this proposal should have minimal impact on the residents, yet will have a huge impact on the teaching, learning and safety of the children in our care.” 

Mildura Court N8 from Gisburn Road showing the disputed piece of land adjacent to the Creative Explo

Mildura Court N8 from Gisburn Road showing the disputed piece of land adjacent to the Creative Explorers nursery to the right - Credit: Polly Hancock

Despite its previous letter to residents stating otherwise, Haringey Council told this newspaper that neighbours would not be liable to pay any costs for legal work to change the deeds of their properties.  

Cllr John Bevan, Haringey’s cabinet member for planning, called placemaking a “big priority” for the town hall.  

“We are very supportive of the local nursery and to find ways they can have more outdoor space,” Cllr Bevan said.  

“The council is clearly committed to ensuring the well-being of young children and, seeking to balance their needs with residents, we gave serious consideration to this suggestion. “ 

A decision will be made by Haringey Council by June 28, after a consultation with residents closed on June 11.

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