My childminding business could be shut down after neighbours moaned about pollution from parent's cars – I'm devastated

My childminding business could be shut down after neighbours moaned about pollution from parent's cars – I'm devastated

12/07/2021

A CHILDMINDER has told how her business could be shut down after her neighbours complained about the pollution coming from the parents’ cars.

Victoria Aldridge, 47, started minding children in her home nine years ago – but now could lose it all.

Neighbours are threatening to sue her, citing air pollution, noise and the use of the home as a business as problems.

The childminder was not aware that she needed planning permission – because she says she was told that she would only need to apply if she had more than two employees.

But once a neighbour complained to the council, she began to apply for permission – until he was informed that the council's official recommendation would be that she close her business.

She told YorkshireLive: "I've been at this house for nine years, childminding for 15 years and have been in the childcare business for 30 years.

"The neighbours moved in three years ago and everything was fine, we chatted and found out their kids go to the local school and then lockdown happened.

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"And as lockdown started to get back to normal, we got a noise complaint saying that the kids are too noisy in the garden, so I talked to my Early Years team and they said that every now and again people will complain."

Victoria says that the noise from her house is “less than one hour a day” – as it is only when children arrive and leave the property.

But a few months later another noise complaint came in – and she was called by a planning officer saying that she had been reported.

Since then she says she has been trying to rectify the planning breach.

She said: "You have to do pre-planning, so we've gone ahead and done that, given them all the information about who is coming and going, how many children are here at one time – we were totally transparent.

"They came back and said it was fine, so I've applied for full planning but, in the meantime, the neighbours have sent a solicitor's letters saying that I am in breach of covenants.

"I'm apparently in breach of covenants for running a business from my property, which six other people do [in the area]."

Victoria says she did not know about the covenants over her property, which mean she is forbidden from running a business inside the house.

She said: "He wants me gone, but I don't know why. For the first year [we had a good relationship] and then lockdown kicked in.

"I worked all the way through lockdown, I catered to nurses, police, rail workers, council workers – yes, there is noise, but he knew exactly who he was moving in next to. I'm known in the village, I'm known in the school but he's chosen that he doesn't want me here anymore.

"But this has put such a spanner in the works, my confidence has hit the floor."

She now says that she plans to appeal if her planning application is refused.

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