Anger as Busy Bees is told Laindon nursery won't be rebuilt

Parents and staff outside the Busy Bees building

Parents and staff outside the Busy Bees building

First published in News by

A NURSERY gutted in a suspected arson attack will not have its building rebuilt.

Basildon Council has refused to pay to allow the much-loved Busy Bees nursery, in Laindon Link, Laindon, to rise from the ashes.

Instead, it says it may offer space in a revamped Bluehouse Farm Community Centre, which adjoins the old nursery building and was also damaged in February’s fire.

However, it could take as long as nine months for the work to be completed, leaving the future of the nursery in doubt.

Angry parents and staff have launched a petition urging the council to reconsider.

In less than a week, more than 350 people have signed it.

Supporters are also considering fundraising to set up of their own private nursery.

Tracey Hill, office manager for Busy Bees, said: “The building is still standing.

It’s just the inside which has been destroyed. The council is going to have to spend money tearing it down anyway, so we don’t really understand.

“We just want our building back. We are even happy to pay the running costs ourselves.

“Setting up our own nursery will take a lot of money, so we are having to look into getting some sort of grant. We are willing to do anything we can to see Busy Bees running properly again.”

Until the start of the Easter holidays, it had a temporary home at Janet Duke Primary School, in Markhams Chase, and before that it was in the nearby Manor Mission Church, in Manor Road.

However, it cannot stay in any one venue for more than two weeks without registering the building with Ofsted.

A council spokesman said: “We are working closely with Busy Bees to find alternative accommodation in the short term, as it’s the only group not yet relocated after the fire.

“We are considering options which could mean the play centre will not need to be rebuilt, reducing the cost of providing the facility and avoiding the inevitable disruption to its neighbours.”

To sign the petition online visit petitions24.com /busybeespreschool

Comments (7)

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8:15am Wed 9 Apr 14

beejiu says...

The council has been very forthcoming to offer an alternative building to what is, at the end of the day, a private business. It is not the council's nor the taxpayers' duty to accommodate the demands of the private business, however 'valuable' it was to the community. What is the problem with it moving into the adjacent building exactly?

At the end of the day, money is tight and it is the arsonists that need to be blamed, not the council. Money doesn't grow on trees. (Besides, I've heard we're knocking the whole lot down and building houses on or near that site.)
The council has been very forthcoming to offer an alternative building to what is, at the end of the day, a private business. It is not the council's nor the taxpayers' duty to accommodate the demands of the private business, however 'valuable' it was to the community. What is the problem with it moving into the adjacent building exactly? At the end of the day, money is tight and it is the arsonists that need to be blamed, not the council. Money doesn't grow on trees. (Besides, I've heard we're knocking the whole lot down and building houses on or near that site.) beejiu
  • Score: 7

8:16am Wed 9 Apr 14

TheWizzard says...

We are considering options which could mean the play centre will not need to be rebuilt, reducing the cost of providing the facility and avoiding the inevitable disruption to its neighbours.”

In other words they want to sell the land for flats
We are considering options which could mean the play centre will not need to be rebuilt, reducing the cost of providing the facility and avoiding the inevitable disruption to its neighbours.” In other words they want to sell the land for flats TheWizzard
  • Score: 8

8:40am Wed 9 Apr 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Get them a marquee that way it can be moved around.
Get them a marquee that way it can be moved around. Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: -3

9:09am Wed 9 Apr 14

railfan235 says...

its not the councils responsibility to rebuild a private building no matter if you are affiliated with them or not so that petition they got going to over turn the councils decision is fraud because there trying to get money from the council so the council can be blamed if things go wrong with the build
its not the councils responsibility to rebuild a private building no matter if you are affiliated with them or not so that petition they got going to over turn the councils decision is fraud because there trying to get money from the council so the council can be blamed if things go wrong with the build railfan235
  • Score: 3

3:59pm Wed 9 Apr 14

dmlocke83 says...

The playschool rent that hall from the council so they get money, they now have the insurance money so get it rebuilt with that money or the council will keep it, its not fair on these children
The playschool rent that hall from the council so they get money, they now have the insurance money so get it rebuilt with that money or the council will keep it, its not fair on these children dmlocke83
  • Score: 2

4:00pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Devils Advocate says...

There is a rumour going round that this building was on green land. The council had to turn it into a brownfield site for their profit-making house builds. If they hadn't closed the play centre in Gloucester park, the people could have used that one. Still, onwards and downwards!
There is a rumour going round that this building was on green land. The council had to turn it into a brownfield site for their profit-making house builds. If they hadn't closed the play centre in Gloucester park, the people could have used that one. Still, onwards and downwards! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 1

6:21pm Wed 9 Apr 14

tracy91 says...

The play school was a non profit charity organisation the only funding they receive is the government funding which every preschool gets. Any money they raised went straight back to the school which they raised themselves.
Yes the council have offered alternatives and have been helpful however the place they are moving them into requires major changes to be made which could take up to a year and whilst they understand that rebuilding the old building will also take a long time at least they know they will be in there permanently. They used to pay a lot if rent each month but they feel that if it wad rebuilt they would look into a lease which would save the council money. At the end of the day the building was insured so what is happening with that?
The play school was a non profit charity organisation the only funding they receive is the government funding which every preschool gets. Any money they raised went straight back to the school which they raised themselves. Yes the council have offered alternatives and have been helpful however the place they are moving them into requires major changes to be made which could take up to a year and whilst they understand that rebuilding the old building will also take a long time at least they know they will be in there permanently. They used to pay a lot if rent each month but they feel that if it wad rebuilt they would look into a lease which would save the council money. At the end of the day the building was insured so what is happening with that? tracy91
  • Score: 2

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