A COMMUNITY under-fives pre-school near Bodmin is celebrating after planning permission was granted for the construction of a new building to safeguard the future of the charity run organisation.

Lanivet and District Under Fives pre-school, applied to Cornwall Council for permission to construct a new pre-school on Carters Parc, near to the Lanivet community centre, known as ‘One for All’.

The organisation behind the pre-school had argued that its current location, within the village’s church hall, was in need of major work to bring up to scratch and was no longer suitable for their requirements.

The applicants had told Cornwall Council: “The Church Hall was never originally designed or is suitable this particular type of use. The due to the age of the existing building means it requires a great deal of refurbishment.

“The existing Church Hall has electric underfloor heating, but due to the construction fabric of the building along no insulation and considerable air leakage around the door and window openings which makes it very energy inefficient building and therefore very costly to heat. The adult toilets and children's toilets and kitchen area are located within a rear extension constructed of single skin of concrete block walls with no heating.

“This means that the Nursery/Pre-School staff have to wear coats into their toilet as it is that cold in the winter and the walls are running wet with condensation.

“The Lanivet Under Fives group are responsible for the repainting of the toilets and kitchen twice a year at our own cost as part of their lease agreement.

“The building short lease and ongoing maintenance costs together with the ever-increasing electrical running costs are seriously calling into question the viability of continuing operating the Under Fives Nursery/Pre-School from this location.”

Their application won the support of many in the community, with multiple expressions of support received by Cornwall Council as part of the planning process.

The plans overcame an objection by Sports England, who had argued that in its view, the proposed location of the new pre-school would impact on the playing field at Carter’s Parc, and therefore did not meet the playing fields policy and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Sports England had proposed moving the proposed building a few metres north of its original proposal, or to reduce the play area of the centre in order so there was no encroachment within ten metres of the land which is used as a playing field.

However, an accompanying officer report confirmed that after the change of plans as required by Sports England was implemented, the body withdrew its objection, stating that it does not reduce the size of any playing pitch, result in the inability to use or maintain any playing pitch, reduce the sporting capacity of the playing field to accommodate playing pitches or the capability to rotate or reposition playing pitches to maintain quality, result in the loss of other sporting provision or ancillary facilities on the site or prejudice the use of any remaining areas of playing fields within the site.

Planning permission was granted subject to a number of additional conditions, including the submission and agreement of tree protection measures with arboricultural site monitoring schedule in addition to the installation of tree protection fencing prior to commencement of works, a scheme to incorporate bird and bat boxes as well as bee bricks, the submission of a construction method statement and the submission of a light spillage mitigation plan.

Welcoming the news, a spokesperson for Lanivet Under Fives pre-school said: “Our planning application has been approved. We are so delighted and excited to begin this project which will secure the future of Lanivet and District Under Fives for generations to come. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us.”