Shock as Uckfield nursery to close

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Parents of children at a popular nursery school between Uckfield and Lewes were horrified to hear that it is being forced to close.

They have received a letter from Claire Dupoy, principal of Badgers Nursery School, which tells them the nursery will close on October 31.

Badgers operates from the saddlery at the Crockstead Equestrian Centre and Hotel on the A22. At present about 30 children aged from three months to five are on the school’s list. Claire told the Express: “We have been told we cannot continue to run the school from this address because there could be some danger to parents and children using the access from the main road. We can’t believe it. The hotel already hosts weddings and big functions and there appears to be no problem with these. We literally have nowhere else to go so have no option but to shut the school. Our parents are distraught. We are in such a lovely country location and we would have thought this is an ideal and safe setting for very young children.”

She points out she has been searching for an alternative site but Wealden have put a blanket ban on change of use to premises within a seven mile radious of the Ashdown Forest and this has meant that alternative options have become an impossibility.

Mum Samantha Beard said: “Parents have three weeks to look for alternative arrangements. Wealden is allowing homes to be built which will increase the population but then remove vital services like this.”

A council spokesman said: “Our main concern is the safety of children. An independent planning inspector reached the same conclusion. The owners learnt they lost their appeal against enforcement in June.”