PLANS have been put forward to transform a Basingstoke hotel into a nursery.

Copper Beeches, in Cliddesden Road, has been running as a hotel since the early 1970s.

Plans have now been granted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to turn the building into an Ofsted-registered childcare nursery with space for 102 children, employing 28 full time staff by its third year.

However, neighbours of the building objected to the proposals because of various concerns including increased traffic and noise disturbance.

The nursery would be run by a provider of community nurseries, which currently operates more than 300 across the UK.

The development would include creating an office and reception area, staff room, training room, laundry, classrooms and kitchens.

Twenty-four parking spaces would be created, with 14 reserved for staff, requiring an extension to the existing car park at the rear of the building.

The nursery would operate from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, except for Bank Holidays.

The application states: “The proposal will meet a strong demand for additional nursery spaces not least as a result of the doubling of early education funding from 15 hours as presently available to parents to 30 hours.”

The applicant anticipates that the nursery could result in around 51 two-way vehicle movements during the morning peak hour and 43 in the afternoon, representing an increase of 41 two-way vehicle movements in the morning and 34 in the afternoon.

When granting permission for the change of use, the council put in various conditions to help alleviate neighbours’ concerns.

These included the total number of children at the nursery at any one time not exceeding 54 until all the parking spaces have been constructed to “ensure that the proposal will not materially change the character of the traffic on the local highway”.

It also stated that the level of sound should not exceed the background sound levels to “ensure that acceptable noise levels within the dwellings and the curtilages of the dwellings are not exceeded in the interests of residential amenity”.