Welwyn playgroup saved after new building approved

PUBLISHED: 19:20 22 October 2012

Welwyn Hatfield Council

Welwyn Hatfield Council

Archant

THE future of a pre-school in Welwyn has been secured after it was given permission to move to a new home.

The Acorn Playgroup and Pre-School, which caters for children aged between two and five, has using a classroom at Oaklands School for the past 18 years.

But it faced an uncertain future after the school said it needed the room to cope with an increasing number of pupils.

Last week officials at Welwyn Hatfield Council approved an application to build a mobile classroom, a play area and car parking at White Hill in Welwyn for Acorn to move into.

They had been warned that the playgroup and pre-school, which employs seven staff, would close if permission was not granted.

Worried supporters sent 36 letters of support to the council ahead of the decision, and ward councillor Sandra Kyriakides said: “The Acorn Playgroup is playing a vital role in the Welwyn West and East community and should be allowed to continue.”

After being served with its notice, staff at Acorn agreed a long-term lease with site owner Welwyn Parish Council to keep the facility open.

Planning officers agreed that Acorn’s threatened closure was good reason to allow the development on Green Belt land.

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