Nursery plan for old Walsall bridal gown shop fails

A bid to get fast-track permission to transform an old Walsall bridal gown shop into a new nursery for more than 30 children has been rejected.

Walsall Town Hall
Walsall Town Hall

Applicant Mo Rahman had hoped to be given a lawful certificate to start using the Beauty House building, next to the former County Hotel, on Birmingham Road, as a 35-capacity facility for youngsters aged from a month to four years old.

But Walsall Council planners said the bridal shop had only been permitted as a business to support the County Hotel which closed itself in 2020.

Therefore, as the new venture would not operate ancillary to it, it cannot be allowed at this stage and a full planning application would need to be brought forward.

If the nursery does eventually open, it will create jobs for four full time carers and two part time carers, opening from 7am and 6pm.

Mr Rahman also said children and families will come at different times during the day and a number of car parking spaces will be provided on site.

He said: “Children will be no more than 35 in total with four full time and two part time carers. They will be provided with toys inside the building and swings,roundabout, slide and sand pit etc.

“All children will be supervised at all times inside and outside. All exit gates will be closed and locked when children are playing outside.”

Alison Ives, Walsall Council’s head of planning said: “The proposed use as a children’s nursery would not be ancillary to the adjacent County Hotel, which itself has now closed down.

“This is contrary to the requirements of condition four of the permission that was granted by planning application for the extant use of the site as a retail venue, which restricts the use to a facility ancillary to the County Hotel.

“As such, the proposal is considered not to be lawful under the provisions of Section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and planning permission is required for the proposed use.”

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