A NURSERY owner has said she is “gutted” after parking concerns prompted borough councillors to reject an application to convert a former doctor’s surgery.

Little Me Day Nurseries applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for full planning permission in November 2013 to convert the former doctor’s surgery in Paddock Road, South Ham, into a day nursery.

The nursery, which also has another centre in Skyline Plaza, Alencon Link, applied for permission to install seven air-conditioning units on the roof of the building that has been empty since 2012, and planned to build a new entrance canopy.

The nursery also applied to change the use of grassed areas at the rear and side of the building and planned to make alterations to the car park to provide a garden play area which would provide play equipment such as houses, sheds, climbing frames and sandpits.

In the plans, the nursery hoped to accommodate 86 children and employ 24 members of staff including 20 full-time staff and four-part time workers during its opening hours between 7.30am and 6.30pm on weekdays.

But it only planned to have four car parking spaces at the site, compared with 20 that are available currently, and planned to use on-street parking in neighbouring roads for parents collecting their children.

South Ham ward councillor Sean Keating expressed concerns about parking at the site, telling a development control meeting: “We were impressed by the nursery, but we expressed our concerns about parking and we even suggested some other efforts that they may take to find additional parking.”

He added: “If the nursery could have a deal with the local church for 10 spaces, it would be a huge improvement but I don’t know whether the church would do that.”

Following the setback, nursery owner Mandy Khaira told The Gazette: “I am gutted to be honest. It has been going on for a year now so I am going to look for another site in Basingstoke.

“You can’t have 80 children with no outdoor play space – it is not fair on the children.”