PLANS for a new organic children’s nursery where the home of Yorkshire tourism was once based have been dealt a blow.
The venture at the Tadcaster Road site, formerly used by road maintenance firm May Gurney, would see a private day nursery with space for 110 children being launched. It would also create 45 jobs.
However, City of York Council planners have said the application should be rejected because of parking and road safety concerns.
The application by Vanessa Warn who runs the Little Green Rascals nursery at York Maze and is looking to expand its operation to a second site, will be debated by the council’s area planning sub-committee on Thursday.
Ms Warn has said 25 full-time staff would be employed there, with 20 part-time roles also being created, and the nursery would have an organic kitchen garden and a training room available for community use.
The building, which housed the Yorkshire Tourism Board (now Welcome to Yorkshire) before it moved to Leeds in 2009, has been empty since last April.
The council’s family information service said the area is a “pressure point” for demand for childcare, both now and in the future, and more facilities would help deal with this as well as allowing families more choice.
However, a report by council planner Heather Fairy said the scheme only included parking spaces for one member of staff, which was a “significant shortfall”, and the parking layout meant cars might have to reverse on to Tadcaster Road, putting pedestrians and cyclists entering the site at risk.
The report said the scheme might lead to illegal parking on the road or grass verge at the front of the site.
It said: “This would result in a safety hazard and would result in the detriment of the free flow of traffic along Tadcaster Road.”
It said this might also affect the “reliability” of Park&Ride services.
In 2012, Ms Warn won The Press’s Local Business Accelerators competition after outlining her plans for expanding her organic nursery business.
Her application said 67 parents had registered an interest in the Tadcaster Road nursery, which would have an online car-share scheme and minibus pick-up points for staff and children.