Couple in ‘uphill battle’ to open children’s centre

Pictured at the Turnbull at Stannington are Brian & Tracy Spye
Pictured at the Turnbull at Stannington are Brian & Tracy Spye

A COUPLE planning to convert a disused Sheffield pub into a childcare centre have complained about how their application is being dealt with by council officials.

Brian Spye and Tracy Taylor bought the old Turnbull pub at the corner of Fairbarn Road and Liberty Hill, Stannington, 18 months ago.

They are renting out the flat on the first floor and have applied for permission to convert the ground floor.

The couple want to provide childcare for younger children, as well as breakfast and after-school clubs for older youngsters.

Mr Spye said: “We bought the pub 18 months ago, with the intention of providing childcare for the community.

“The pub has had more than its share of anti-social behaviour over the past few years, we have letters of support from the local police chief, residents and shopkeepers.”

But Mr Spye said Sheffield Council, the planning authority, has refused permission for a fence to be erected around the pub garden to stop children running out into the car park or street.

The decision was made by a planning officer, without being presented to councillors.

Mr Spye said the couple now fear an ‘uphill battle’ with the change of use application.

He said: “We have been told that unless we have expensive equipment to measure noise from the childcare centre, and have an assessment from experts, we must give our tenants’ notice and keep the flat empty – or we will not get planning permission.

“We are only having children at the centre during the daytime which will not cause problems.”

A date has not yet been set for a decision on the couple’s application.