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|Company behind All Hallows nursery plan revealed|
|Thursday, 08 December 2016 12:21|
Updated While there was an emotive response to news of the demolition of All Hallows church at Witts Hill following our previous story, we can reveal that the site has been earmarked for the second branch of a Hampshire nursery.
A planning application to create a new "children’s day care facility in a two-storey building with associated levelling of the site and car parking following demolition of the existing church" is now up for consideration by Southampton City Council and due to be decided in January.
Behind the application are husband and wife team Rachael and Oliver Thomson from ‘the Mulberry bush’, which already operates a nursery in Locks Heath.
They hope their Bitterne Park nursery will open at the Witts Hill site at the end of the summer in 2017.
Mulberry bush says it aims to bridge the gap between nurseries that are individually owned and offer a caring approach – but perhaps which offer little in the way of professional support or investment in facilities, and highly corporate operations “lacking in intimacy and warmth”.
“We really think this will be a will be a hugely positive development for the community,” Oliver told bitternepark.info. “We offer really high quality child care so it will be a great resource for everyone, and with fabulous schools in the area we’ll complement those by providing excellent quality early years provision for children before they go up into those schools.”
He said neighbours had been “over the moon” when they’d found out the plans for the site.
The Reverend Andy Smith, from the Church of Ascension, welcomed the proposed change of use for the site, saying he was “really pleased” that it will continue to serve a useful community function.
Meanwhile following its demolition many shared memories on our Facebook page of times past at All Hallows church, which was dedicated in 1951.
Ross Holloway wrote: “It’s sad to see it go. It’s been there as long as I can remember.”
Sarah Mepham said: “Lots a happy dance school memories in that church!”
And Chris Cromble wrote: “Oh my goodness, that was the hub of my children's lives! Sunday school, mother and Toddlers, playschool... my daughter was Christened there. I even did keep fit there! How sad!”
The planning application for the new children's day care facility is here. Comments close on December 27.
All Hallows church and hall to close – bitternepark.info, January 2014, including original comments about the news
Subsequently updated with link to planning application.
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