Traffic 'bedlam' fear over East Hill nursery plan

TOWN planners this week vowed to reconsider their stance over an East Hill nursery s bid to accommodate more children after traffic bedlam concerns were raised by residents.

TOWN planners this week vowed to reconsider their stance over an East Hill nursery's bid to accommodate more children after traffic "bedlam" concerns were raised by residents.

Ottery town council planning committee members' opinions were split over an application by Ottertots Ltd to increase the number of children it is allowed to care for by ten from 30 to 40 when they discussed the plans at a meeting last week, eventually backing them.

However, on Monday councillors pledged to make an early morning visit to the site to site to gage traffic fears raised by neighbours after being aware of "strong feelings" over the issue.

Concerned neighbours of the nursery, in East Hill up Slade Road, have told the Herald they fear a "horrendous accident" on the narrow country lane leading to the site if traffic flow increases further.

White Lodge resident Rosemary Hayward said: "The children come in private cars and in the mornings there's queues of traffic, they can't get in or can't turn around. It is absolute bedlam out there. I've got a business to run but sometimes I can't get out of my house.

"I fear there will be the most horrendous accident. On a normal day that road can be so busy, there's no speed restrictions and no proper passing places. I've been hit two times on it and refuse to drive faster than 20 miles per hour.

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"Potentially this is an extra 40 journeys per day. I couldn't believe it and was so distressed and upset when I saw the plans."

Bryan Matchett, 65, said noise and traffic concerns are "ruining" his and his wife Jill's retirement.

He said: "A climbing frame overlooks my garden and at times the noise was so great we had to spend thousands of pounds building a new patio at the other end of the house. We also made our fence higher and re-planted bushes because of the lack of privacy. The stress is having a constant affect on our health."

In Ottertots' planning application it is claimed the increase in capacity would have "minimal" affects on traffic as new additions to the nursery would most likely be siblings of current users and would travel in the same vehicles. The nursery also said it provides a minibus service for children.

It is also stated the building is already fully equipped to handle the increase in children.