The site had permission for a quad biking centre to operate every day, including Sundays and bank holidays. The appellants proposed to use a brick building on the land to accommodate 30 children aged between six months and five years, with the business operating from 6.45am until 6pm. A portable cabin on the land would be used as a staff office, staff room and store.
The inspector accepted that the change of use would involve only minor alterations to the building. However, he was concerned that it would increase activity on the site, leading to significant comings and goings of cars as children were brought to and from the site. It was also likely that play equipment and other paraphernalia would be placed outside and adversely affect the openness of the land, he held.
He took into account the appellants' argument that the facility would be a valuable asset serving workers on an adjoining industrial estate and government aspirations to extend the range of childcare facilities more generally. However, he decided that these did not amount to the very special circumstances required to justify the development.
DCS Number 100-050-797
Inspector Howard Rose; Hearing.