Planning permission has been given for a new nursery and forest school to be built on the car park of a former pub.

Tiddlywinks Nursery Group intend to build the new private day nursery, an outdoor forest school and play area at the former Roach Bank Inn site, Croft Lane, Hollins, Bury.

The majority of the site was the car park and access to the pub, which closed in 2014 and has since been converted into a plastering training centre with residential accommodation.

A planning officer report published by Bury Council, said: “The nursery building would be two-storey in height with a flat roof and feature gable projecting above the main entrance.

“Where the land drops at the rear, it is proposed to provide a balcony with a stepped access to the play area at the back.

“The existing access off Croft Lane would be used which would lead to a car park and 28 spaces for staff and visitors.

“There will be a new pedestrian foot-way which would lead directly to the main entrance.

“To the rear it is proposed provide a play area with landscaping enhancements and tree planting either side.”

In their application, Tiddlywinks Nursery Group, said. “It will provide an essential service in delivering childcare to enable parents and carers to go to work which in turn will support the local economy while providing valuable early years education for young children.

“It will regenerate a vacant site in need of investment and renewal.”

Planning permission was previously granted in 2017 for the redevelopment of the site for housing but this did not progress and the site remained vacant.

Tiddlywinks said the proposals would ‘improve the appearance of the site, create an attractive streetscape and would provide the applicant with the opportunity to deliver an exemplary nursery to serve the local area’.

Tiddlywinks Day Nursery was founded in 1994 by husband and wife team, David and Imelda Mihell. Over the years Tiddlywinks has expanded from their original 18-place nursery in Blackley to seven day nurseries, providing daily care for more than 700 children and five Tiddlywinks Out of School Clubs, providing daily care for more than 185 children across north Greater Manchester.

They operate another nursery in the borough in Walmersley and their head office is on Manchester Road in Bury. No specific number of jobs created are included in the plans but the applicant stated ‘the proposal will create jobs in a range of full and part time roles’.