Nursery built on green belt land in Wolverhampton is sold

A nursery built on green belt land near Wolverhampton has been sold by its owners after a community campaign.

Sandhills Day Nursery
Sandhills Day Nursery

Sandhills Day Nursery, based on land bordering Springhill Lane, Lower Penn, was opened in March this year by nursery developer Dalbir Basra, who this week announced that he had decided to sell the facility to another company.

Neighbours have been fighting the development since the nursery was built a larger size than planned.

The nursery is currently seeking retrospective planning permission from South Staffordshire Council.

Members of the Lower Penn Nursery Development action group had previously spent months battling to have the nursery torn dow, because it was being constructed at around 150 per cent bigger than original plans indicated.

Campaigners on Springhill Lane with the nursery in the background

In a letter to residents living in the area, former owner Mr Basra said: “After much deliberation and soul searching, we have made the decision to sell Sandhills Day Nurseries as a group to The Old Station Nursery.

"They, like us, strive to provide the very best in childcare. The decision to sell the nursery did not come easy to us and we had not even considered it as a possibility until we were approached by the buyers."

The Old Station Nursery, which has written letters of assurance to families whose children attend the facility, currently has 12 nurseries and after-school clubs in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire.

Penn Green parish councillor Steve Bradley said: "Speaking in a personal capacity, I would love for this beautiful stretch of nature-rich land to revert to green belt, reversing a highly-flawed process under which the day nursery was firstly given permission, and secondly built significantly bigger than the permitted size, in what was a flagrant and aggressive example of a land grab.

"This sale offers a glimmer of hope to campaigners who have doggedly fought these plans, despite having been made aware of the scheme only once it had been given planning permission.

"The project was an act of folly in the first place, as other perfectly good day nurseries are available in the locality. It has run below capacity.

"The scheme’s unpopularity in the area has made it something of a poisoned chalice, in my view,” he added.

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