Busy Bodies Childcare Centre is located behind the  Ludlow Mascall Centre, alongside Friars Walk. Now run by James Boddey, this long established nursery is by all accounts successful and has a waiting list. To accommodate the growing need, James has applied for planning permission for a new building on the disused car park at the rear of the  Ludlow Mascall Centre, close to Friars Walk.

The new building will be clad in wood and raised on stilts to limit damage to any archaeological resources. The new nursery area will help children explore nature, growing your own, ecology and the environment.

The central element of the plans is a low impact, timber framed building in an unused area behind the  Ludlow Mascall Centre (20/04148/FUL). Over the years, this scruffy patch has been used as an overflow car park for the centre. The area has access off Friars Walk but there are no plans to use that access either for construction or when the extension to Busybodies is completed. Access will be from  Ludlow Mascall, not Friars Gardens. The building will provide the office space and toilets for a new play area.

The aims of the new building and play area are explained succinctly by Busybodies director, James Boddey:

“The new nursery will be focused on connections with nature, connections with each other and connections with ourselves. We will be growing our own fruit and vegetables and exploring the changing seasons and nature in its full glory. My aim for the new space is for it to be eco-friendly and to be full of opportunities for children to learn about caring for the environment. So, it could incorporate some plastic bottle walls, source energy from the sun or wind, maybe a compost toilet, and ideas like this.”

This scheme looks good to me. It has a minimal impact on heritage and archaeological assets. With its restricted hours and St Laurence’s Primary School nearby, it will not introduce new neighbourhood noise. Comments from Shropshire Council’s tree and conservation teams will be important in assessing whether this scheme should be approved.  

Declaration: The Director of Busy Bodies is a good friend of mine. However, I have no vote on applications in my ward in the unlikely event the application should be decided by the Southern Planning Committee rather than planning officers.

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