Nursery to be created at former office to cope with ‘high demand’ for places

Proposals to convert a former Aberdeen office into a new nursery have been approved by planners.

HFM Properties Ltd lodged plans to change an existing office on Victoria Street in the city centre, which has been vacant since August, into a children’s nursery.

The developers say the change of use would help meet rising demand for nursery spaces for three to five-year-olds in the area.

A planning statement by Halliday Fraser Munro, agents for the application, said: “There is currently a need for another nursery to open as there is a high demand for more places in the centre of Aberdeen; with waiting lists for children’s places aged three to five in both private and council-run nurseries.

“Changes come into effect in 2018 where all three to five-year-old children will be entitled to full day government-funded places, and there will be a further demand on all early years education services.

“As this will be an age three to five nursery, led by a General Teaching Council of Scotland nursery/primary teachers, this proposal presents a solution that can help provide the early years education and demand that is in demand in Aberdeen.”

The planning statement adds that the proposed change of use would bring the building back into operation and could also support the surrounding residential area due to a lack of city-centre based nurseries.

It added: “The current economic climate has seen a change in the city’s office occupancy rates, movements and demand for different types, sizes and locations for office space in the city.

“The first quarter of 2016 saw a rise in vacant office space in Aberdeen, particularly lower grade space.”

Planners approved the application, saying the proposed change of us is considering “compatible” with the surrounding area.

In their report, they added there will be “no significant impact” upon traffic or parking in the surrounding area.

But officials have added a condition that the applicant must provide a travel plan.

The capacity of children at the nursery is yet to be determined but between 10 to 20 members of staff will be employed.