Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Warminster pre-school eyes new classroom after seven-year wait
Youngsters at a Warminster pre-school are eagerly waiting to hear whether they will get a brand new classroom, after a seven-year wait.
Noah’s Ark Pre-school, in the grounds of Princecroft Primary School, has submitted a planning application for a new modular building with improved facilities.
The classroom is becoming increasingly dilapidated and has been in need of replacement since 2005, when an error at Wiltshire Council deprived the school of some much-needed funds.
Town councillors gave their unanimous support to the plans at a meeting last week, but they still need the £101,000 owed by Wiltshire Council to continue.
Chairman Phil Gillingham said: “The classroom has badly needed replacing since 2005, it has just reached the end of its life expectancy.
“Ofsted also noted that we have no disabled access as it is raised off the ground.
“With the new building, we would have better access and disabled toilets, a private room for more sensitive conversations, and we will have more usable space in our play area.”
Mr Gillingham said that in 2005 the pre-school, a registered charity, was due to receive funds from Persimmon Homes, which was building nearby, but due to a mix-up in the council planning department it received nothing.
“We went through the council complaints procedure and eventually took them to the government ombudsman,” he said.
“Now we are just waiting for the money to be paid, which we are promised will be any day now.
“With that and the planning permission out the way it will be all go, and we can get the building done over the summer ready for the next academic year.”
The pre-school was founded in 1991 and has 20 children, although the new building will allow it to expand.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “The council is pleased it has been able assist the pre-school to get its new building.
“It has been necessary to follow a complex legal process to ensure public funds, and the pre-school, are as far as possible protected in an unusual situation.”