A NEW organic nursery is to be opened in York after councillors overruled opposition from planning officials to give the scheme the green light.
City of York Council planners said proposals by Little Green Rascals Organic Day Nursery Ltd to set up its second base in the city, on the site of the former Yorkshire Tourist Board offices on Tadcaster Road, should be turned down because of concerns over road safety.
But the authority's area planning sub-committee approved the £120,000 plans after members said they did not believe it posed a traffic danger and because it would help meet local childcare demand. The nursery will provide care for 110 children aged up to 11 and create 20 full-time and 25 part-time jobs.
Vanessa Warn, who set up her first Little Green Rascals nursery at the York Maze at Elvington - which now caters for 240 families - four years ago, said: "It's fantastic to get the go-ahead and start putting our plans into action.
"We've learned so much over the past four years and had some wonderful feedback. We've had a very positive response from the local community for our second nursery, including from local councillors and parents who desperately need more nursery provision in the area."
The scheme will see the Tadcaster Road building being fully refurbished and an organic kitchen garden, including a play area, being created, while nearby woodland will be used for a "forest school". Mrs Warn said she had already had interest from more than 80 parents, and the nursery is due to open in early May.
When it opened at York Maze, Little Green Rascals was the first organic day nursery in the north and has been awarded the Soil Association's Gold Catering Mark for the last four years, while Mrs Warn was named the winner of The Press' Local Business Accelerators competition in 2012 for her plans to expand her business. She said: "We are dedicated to providing exceptional childcare with an organic and environmentally-friendly ethos."
The area which the Tadcaster Road nursery will serve has been identified by the council's family information service as a "pressure point" for childcare demand.