A CHILDMINDER in Holmes Chapel has seen its planning bid to care for 12 children blocked by Cheshire East councillors.

The application was brought forward following a council investigation last year, as Little Monkeys on Elm Drive was found not to have the required permission to host more than six children.

However, CEC’s southern planning committee on Wednesday (March 31) refused the retrospective planning submission — citing concerns over a loss of residential amenity.

“We are going to get in deep trouble if we allow this to go forward”, Cllr Stanley Davies argued.

“It is an area where people live and how can we say how many children are in the garden.

“It is an open and shut case — if you are a business then you have to move [when you grow].”

This application was in fact the second attempt the business had made to secure the necessary planning permission — with a 2020 bid rejected on grounds that 12 children in the garden would create too much noise.

To compensate this, the new submission promised to have no more than six children in the garden at one point — which councillors ultimately felt was unfair and hard to enforce.

Other reasons for refusal include concerns over on-street parking.

Victoria Wood, representing Little Monkeys, told the committee that the firm had a good track record in childcare.

She said: “The applicant has operated from the property since 2014. The proposal seeks permission to provide services to a maximum of 12 children at any one point.

“The business has consistently provided high quality childcare in the community and the applicant wishes to continue to do so.”

An earlier letter sent to the council by the business owners claimed they were unaware of the need for planning permission.

It said: “Please be aware that at no point during our six-year history in which we have been in regular contact with Cheshire East in relation to funded children etc., nor during our training provided directly by Cheshire East has the need for planning permission ever been expressed. We were both totally unaware of this requirement.”

In all, nine councillors voted to refuse the application, one voted against rejection, and two abstained.