DIVISIVE plans to relocate a nursery to an unused plot of land just off a residential street are set to go before the borough council next month.

Ahead of that meeting on September 11, the Advertiser has been canvassing residents’ opinion on the controversial proposal, which would see Whitchurch Montessori Nursery and its forest school relocated from Testbourne school to land at the Knowlings.

The application has garnered 159 public comments on the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council website, 128 of which object to the proposal with 31 in support.

Here we consider the views of some of those opposed to the plans having spoken to people living in the vicinity.

The main issue cited is the impact it will have on traffic, with many saying the situation is “bad enough” as it is.

One resident, who asked not to be named, claims that one day she counted 40 cars in the area due to the existing traffic from the nearby Whitchurch CofE Primary School.

David Lewis, who lives opposite the proposed site, said he has seen various crashes and incidents in recent years and adding a nursery to the area will only make it worse.

“I’ve seen several collisions, luckily none fatal,” he said.

“I saw one car written off when another car drove into it. My wife had her car driven into and they just drove off. And we’ve had a cat run over.”

Rebecca Hedge, of The Knowlings, admits that last month’s meeting of Whitchurch Town Council’s development committee helped “set my fears to rest” about parking issues, but traffic remains a concern of hers – as well as the impact on dogwalkers.

Many dogwalkers frequent the unused land and it has become a much-loved meeting point and a “part of the community”, she says.

Other residents echoed the worries over traffic but went one further and stressed that the issues need to be resolved regardless of whether the nursery is built.

Mavis Cheek, also of The Knowlings, believes cars are already driving too fast in the area but action is yet to be taken.

“I think the traffic is another issue that I am sure [the council] are all aware of and may be able to solve at some time.

"But every time we mention it, they say they are aware of it, but we don’t get any action.”

Next week we will be sharing the views of those in support of the plans.

If you would like to share your thoughts get in touch at elliott.binks@andoveradvertiser.co.uk