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Bournemouth council refuses nursery's appeal for more outdoor play time
AN appeal to allow nursery school children to spend more time outdoors has fallen on deaf ears.
Outdoor areas at the Kings Castle Montessori in Tuckton can be used for no more than two hours a day under current planning rules.
When bosses applied to increase the time limit their request was refused by Bournemouth council.
And an appeal to the government’s Planning Inspectorate was also turned down due to the levels of noise and disturbance likely to be suffered by neighbours.
Deputy manager Caroline Hexter said she and her colleagues are “very disappointed” with the decision, which has thwarted plans to have “purposeful activities” for small groups of youngsters outside.
“We were planning on having proper lessons in outdoor classrooms– it would not have been as noisy as general play times. The children love gardening and digging.”
The nursery, in Saxonbury Road, opened in 1997 on the site of a former prep school and caters for a maximum of 56 children at any one time. Some neighbours have complained about noise levels.
Managers wanted to take a maximum of 12 children at any one time outside between 9am and 11.30am and 1.30pm and 4pm.
They also wanted to keep four general playtime sessions of half-an-hour each.
Inspectors carrying out a recent Ofsted report said: “Children enjoy the outdoor classroom.
“They have planted, grown and eaten a range of fruit and vegetables.
“They enjoy digging the garden looking for worms and other creatures.”
And parents supported the appeal.
Kerry Patton, who has a three-year-old daughter at the nursery, said: “It is not about children charging around the playground screaming blue murder – the nursery has proper outdoor classrooms. To restrict a child to two hours of being outside is wrong.”
And Patrick Lucas, a PE teacher whose two-year-old son attends the nursery, added: “Young children need to burn off energy and it makes them a lot happier to be outside.”
Clare Coleman, whose son attends the nursery, is also a local resident.
She said: “I am absolutely appalled that my neighbours are complaining about the wonderful sound of children playing and having fun outdoors.”
But government inspector Clive Kirkbride said: “I conclude that the proposals would have a harmful effect on living conditions at nearby premises, therefore the appeal fails.”