The Vale of Glamorgan Council has had to drop enforcement action against the Hazelhurst Children’s Nursery at 120 Plymouth Road Penarth – because breaches of planning permission were left to go unchallenged for too long.
In 1994 the nursery had received planning permission from what was then the Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council, allowing it to have up to a maximum 50 children on its premises .
In recent months however some local residents – concerned about local traffic congestion during drop off and pick up times – came to the conclusion that there were actually more than the maximum of 50 children actually attending the nursery each day.
They brought to light an inspection by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales carried out in 2014 which reported that Hazelhurst Nursery “provides full day care for a maximum of 70 children under 8 years of age” . That was 20 more than the maximum laid down in the 1994 planning permission.
An enforcement contravention inquiry was then put in train by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. It has now discovered that the nursery “has been operating in breach of condition 3 of permission for in excess of 10 years”.
However the council’s ‘operational manager development management’ – Robert Lankshear – says that, because the nursery has been operating in this way for that length of time, it is now “immune from enforcement action by the local planning authority ” (i.e. the Vale of Glamorgan Council).
A resident had also complained that a tree-house structure had been erected in the garden of the premises – apparently without planning permission. Mr Lankshear goes on to say in a letter to a local resident that in fact the tree house structure in the front of the site has been there since “at least 2008” and that it too is now “immune from enforcement action”.
As a result there is no enforcement action that the council can now take against the nursery.