Over 80 objections filed to save Harris Mind and Body from being kicked out of The Grange, Thatcham
PEOPLE have come together to try to save a Thatcham business from being forced out of their home.
As reported in last week’s Newbury Weekly News, Phoenix Learning and Care has asked to change the use of The Grange Nursery at Church Gate to a Special Educational Needs (SEN) school for up to 60 students and 25 members. Staff.
The request states “that the number of road trips would be considerably reduced when the loss of office space and physiotherapists were taken into account”.
Harris Mind and Body, which occupies the on-site Atrium, said they were not made aware of the implications for their business until June 6, despite plans filed in April.
More than 80 objections have been filed since Harris Mind and Body owners Phil and Sarah Harris appealed on June 7 to keep their business in place.
Mr Harris said: “It was a big shock to us that this was part of the plans. If the plans were implemented it would result in the loss of a facility for the local community.
“We had absolutely no consultation. We were completely caught off guard.”
One objection reads: “Phil, Sarah and the team provide invaluable service to the community of West Berkshire. To those in this community who need support to enable them, in turn, to continue and exercise their role of care, education or support in Their importance to the region should not be underestimated .
“I understand the need for this school, but I don’t understand the logic of evicting a business that has a proven benefit to the Thatcham community, and I don’t think all opportunities to look for alternatives have been exhausted. “
Mr and Mrs Harris said they saw the orange planning signs at the site and believed the request only covered the main building.
It wasn’t until they heard from a neighbor and verified the details of the claim that they learned their business could be lost.
Mr Harris said Raytheon, which has offices at the site, was also not consulted.
Physiotherapists opened at the site in 2016, combining the physiotherapy work of Mr Harris from the Newbury Clinic in Enborne Road, and Ms Harris giving Pilates classes in West Berkshire.
It is also a teacher training school and provided an NHS contract.
The couple said they did not object to the need for a SEN school in the empty buildings on the site.
Mr Harris said: “We are not against providing a site for special educational needs, it is not our objection. It is the disruption of an established family business and the lack of communication from our staff. owners, and our concerns for the future of the business.
“You can’t just go to a physiotherapy clinic and drop it off somewhere else and the service it provides to the local community. People come to West Berkshire, North Hampshire and Wiltshire to see and use us. our facilities.
“One of the reasons we chose the Atrium was its location and accessibility for people with disabilities and the ability to secure parking.”
The couple said: “We would like our voice to be heard – that we too are providing service to our local community and that we would like to stay.
“In an ideal world, we could all exist within the grounds of the Grange. That this request for town planning is not accepted for the whole of the Barn, only for empty buildings. That Harris Mind and Body can continue at The Atrium (first barn) for many years to come. “
Plans can be viewed by entering 21/01086 / COMIND on the West Berkshire Council planning website.