A NURSERY has been told its children will have to spend more time indoors because it is breaking a planning rule designed to limit noise.

The decision comes despite the fact that the Montessori, which takes up to 38 pupils, is on part of the prep school site of the former Homefield School.

Managers at Kings Castle Montessori in Saxonbury Road, Bournemouth, had been letting children play and study outdoors for much of the day – but did not notice they were breaking a condition placed on an earlier planning application.

When they applied to lift the rule that says the children could only be outside for two-and-a-half hours a day, Bournemouth council turned down the application.

Caroline Hexter, acting manager of the nursery, said: “They’re not able to be learning outside when studies left, right and centre are saying how beneficial being outside is for children.

“We’re very upset about it. The children have a full and active curriculum inside but it’s nice to be able to give them the outside space as well where they learn so much more.”

She said the objections to the school’s planning application had largely come from neighbours who had moved there when the nursery was already there.

The nursery had won council grants totalling almost £19,000 – including awards for outdoor equipment such as a canopy, water butts, play equipment and waterproofs.

If the application had been approved, the nursery would have been able to use the play area for two hours a day plus up to five hours’ supervised use of the garden for learning for up to 12 children.

It argued in its planning application that the site was being used much less intensively than when Homefield School was there.

Neighbour Michael Jinks started a petition against the planning application which attracted 16 signatures.

He said the nursery had already caused problems and that “two hours a day is plenty for children to be outside”.

Another neighbour whose home backs onto the nursery site claimed the playing was waking her in the mornings.

But Ben Walliman, early years foundation stage improvement adviser for Bournemouth Borough Council, said the existing restriction “prevents all children from having suitable time in the fresh air”.

Several parents also wrote to encourage the council to approve the extension.

The nursery intends to lodge an appeal.