Access concern as Community First wants to convert St Joseph’s Place building into housing

Fears have been expressed by St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and St Joseph’s Nursery over plans by neighbours Community First to sell their building for housing.

Both the school and the nursery objected to Community First’s application to change the use of its office Wyndhams, in St Joseph’s Place, into two houses. The nursery also sent in a petition signed by 80 people.

Community First also plans to submit an application to build four semi-detached houses on its car park and garden. The nursery is at the rear of Wyndhams and users have to go over its car park to get there.

The school and the nursery raised concerns that noise from the houses may impact on the nursery and vice versa.

Delia Hatala, manager of St Joseph’s Nursery, said: “Community First have been very good and said we can have access down to the nursery but we are a bit concerned when developers get hold of it they might change their mind. To access the nursery we go over the car park, we have done for 20 years.”

Sheila Jones, headteacher at St Joseph’s School, said: “We wish that we had the resources to purchase it (Wyndhams) ourselves as that would enable our children to have additional space to learn and play and it would secure the nursery’s future.”

Planning officer Morgan Jones said under development rules, Community First did not need permission to change the use of the building to houses.

Community First, which is Wiltshire’s rural community council, wants to sell off Wyndhams because the building is in need of substantial modernisation and it plans to relocate to more modern offices.

Philippa Read, chief executive of Community First, said the architects had been instructed to include access to the nursery across the site. However, she could not guarantee that any developer would not seek to withdraw that access.

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