Rural playschool secures planning permission for permanent home

Aerial view of Dennington

Land in Dennington where Badingham Playschool will have a permanent home built. - Credit: Google Maps

A nursery and playschool in the heart of rural Suffolk which has operated out of village halls and scout huts will finally get a permanent home after planning permission for a new base was secured.

Badingham Playschool lodged plans to develop a mock-barn style facility which will cater for up to 50 children on land west of the B1116 in Dennington, one of the villages it serves.

The playschool has been running out of Framlingham Scout Hut and Badingham Village Hall in recent years, with the new facility giving it a permanent home in which to serve families in the area.

Despite some concerns over the impact on the Conservation Area in which its sits and the nearby three listed buildings, East Suffolk Council's planning south committee felt the benefits outweighed the harm and unanimously approved planning permission.

Michele Cole, from Badingham Playschool, said: "The [playschool] trustees are working hard to secure the playschool for the future and identified having a dedicated building as part of this.

"We understand concerns about locating us in the Conservation Area however playschool staff see this as an ideal opportunity to teach children to appreciate the beauty of the Suffolk countryside and the local heritage.

"The proposed site places us at the heart of the village and will bring vibrancy to the area."

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The facility will include outdoor play areas, while part of the site is expected to come forward as a community orchard in the future.

Planning officers said the impact on the Conservation Area and listed buildings nearby was considered to be "less than substantial".

The proposals received 57 representations in support, citing the benefits to the community and the use being in keeping with the community benefit expected as the land is is owned by Dennington Consolidated Charity.

However, six objectors raised traffic and highways access concerns, while one who gave a representation to the committee said it was a "sensitive location" and "really is not a sustainable option".

Some questions were raised about the lack of detail on proposed materials given its location in a Conservation Area. However, details on external finishes will be secured under planning conditions.