Plan for nursery on ‘rat run’ is slammed

Resident Helen McWilliams is worried about traffic at the nursery site. Picture: Jane Barlow

Resident Helen McWilliams is worried about traffic at the nursery site. Picture: Jane Barlow

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FURIOUS residents have hit out at plans to open a nursery on a notorious “rat run” as a “fatal accident waiting to 
happen”.

Around 44 children and nine staff would be accommodated at the private day-care nursery in Corstorphine’s Featherhall Avenue if developer plans get the go-ahead.

But residents and community leaders have attacked the proposal, saying the move could lead to a serious smash in the narrow street, which is congested due to another nearby nursery, a medical centre, a glazing factory and Corstorphine Primary School.

In an official objection, one elderly resident said: “Can you imagine up to 40 cars trooping up in a morning or afternoon, dropping off the wee ones and all the people making their way to the health centre next door? Then there is the most dangerous bend in Edinburgh – Featherhall Avenue – where drivers take their lives in their hands every time you go down it or up it.”

Opening in converted premises on the site of the former Peter White & Son car showroom, the nursery would feature staff parking and a drop-off point.

The building will also be finished in blue and grey zinc sections – allaying earlier fears over plans to cover it with “bright, multi-coloured panels”.

But residents warned the traffic situation in Feather-
hall Avenue would be “chaotic” and a “danger” to children after the nursery opens – especially given the bend in the road which makes it difficult to judge approaching traffic.

Helen McWilliams, 45, who lives in the street, said: “You have great big delivery lorries going up and down it. You know what kids are like – they run onto the road without looking. If there are 40 more cars coming in to drop off kids, it will be horrendous – it will be a danger to them.”

Ken Swinney, secretary of Corstorphine Community Council, believes the fears are founded. He said: “I have said for years it’s a fatal accident waiting to happen.

“I’ve had a couple of near misses myself – there was one time I had to back onto the community garden on the street to let a truck pass. 
People will be up in arms if this is approved.”

But the plans have been defended by developers. Architect Adam Dudley said: “Parents won’t all be coming in at the same time. There will also be a member of the nursery’s staff at the drop-off point – parents will pull in, the member of staff will take the child and the parent will drive off.

“There’s less likelihood of any injury because this will be a controlled site.”

City planning chiefs said the application would be considered on May 15.

A council spokeswoman said: “The application has been continued for further 
consideration following a site visit.”

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