Building about to start on new Northam pre-school
By tinap | Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 10:14
Children at Northam's Snapdragon pre-school could move into a new purpose built facility as early as this September.
Work on the facility is due to start on April 1. The pre-school, run by a parent-led Committee, has been using temporary accommodation in the United Community Centre, Northam, for the past year thanks to Tarka Housing. The pre-school serves children within Northam, Westward Ho! Appledore, Bideford and surrounding areas.
Now, with funding secured from a range of sources, including Devon County Council, LEADER 4 North Devon & Torridge, the Bideford Bridge Trust and from local fund raising, the pre-school has agreed plans to locate a new facility on Devon County Council's playing fields at Jackets Lane, Northam, adjacent to St George's School.
Planning permission for the single storey, flat-roofed building has already been approved by Torridge District Council, and ground works are due to start next month.
The timber-frame, timber-clad building will be of modular design, meaning that it will be made in its entirety off-site, and transported in as soon as ground works are ready.
It will be fitted with low energy lighting and eco-flushing toilets, and in future the pre-school hopes to fit PV panels.
The ground works, by LJ Developments, are expected to take about 12 weeks, subject to weather conditions.
Snapdragons Director, Jo Manley is confident that once the new pre-school building is ready, and they've moved everything over to the new location, they'll be ready for the start of term in September.
As part of the ground work, a stretch of Devon bank bordering the site and Jackets Lane will be moved two metres further away from the road, and a pavement built along the lane, linking up with a new housing estate.
Director Jo Manley said: "I am extremely excited about the whole project.
"My thanks to Tarka Homes for very generously accommodating us for the last 15 months.
"Thanks as well to Devon County Council and Cllr Eastman in particular for their funding and allowing us to use the land. And to RGP Architects in Roundswell, who have helped us through design and planning, and to everyone locally who has helped us raise funding to enable this to happen.
"This will allow us to have our own, purpose-built, designated pre-school. We'll be able to increase the number of pre-school children we care for and recruit more carers."
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member whose responsibilities include early years services, said:
"The new building will enhance the mix of pre-school provision in the area, and we're pleased to support it."