Bamford pub could become children’s day nursery

Date published: 23 June 2020

A Bamford pub could become a children’s day nursery if new proposals get the green light.

An application to change the use of The Bamford Arms, in Rochdale, has been made by owner Edward Smethurst – the Bury lawyer who helped Kate and Gerry McCann win £550,000 in damages from two national newspapers.

Mr Smethurst owns a number of nurseries in the area – including Little Sparks in Wardle – but Bamford currently has no private provision and no nurseries available during school holidays.

A document submitted to Rochdale Council claims the former Dog & Partridge pub on Bury Road is ‘ideally situated in the heart of the village and would be easily accessible on foot, by car, with bus routes stopping outside the property.’

The nursery – set to cater for more than 50 babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers – would occupy the ground floor of the building, boasting open play rooms, sleep areas and a sensory area for babies.

There would also be a kitchen and dining room, as well as shared toilet and baby-changing facilities for staff and visitors. The first floor is earmarked for offices and a staff room.

Plans also include a new reception area at the back of the building with improved security, safeguarding and safety measures, while a canopy structure would provide shelter.

The rear car park would remain available for both staff parking and as a visitor/parent pick-up and drop-off area.

Only ‘minimal changes’ are planned for the front of the building, although the decked beer garden would be altered to provide a more child friendly environment.

There would also be ‘minor alterations’ to the interior layout of the building to better suit the needs of a nursery.

The supporting planning document also says the nursery would ‘provide sustainable employment and skill development opportunities’ in the area.

When operating at full capacity it would employ 10 full time staff, with one of these being at management level.

If the conversion is approved the nursery would offer child care provision for 51 weeks of the year, but would be closed for Christmas and Bank Holidays. 

The proposed operating hours are 7.30am to 6.30pm.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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