A nursery has been given the green light to create a new base in Maldon after councillors went against recommendations to refuse it.

Watership Downs, in Downs Road, has been looking after children in the town for 40 years.

But bosses need to find a new home due to the lease agreement ending next March.

They applied to Maldon District Council to put a wooden cabin on land at the Blackwater Leisure Centre in Park Drive.

The land is jointly owned by the council and centre operator Places For People.

Planning officers recommended the bid be thrown out amid concerns about it potentially being too noisy.

But at a meeting of the central area planning committee last month councillors approved the bid subject to conditions.

The centre will now be able provide a pre-school for 30 children, a crèche with 11 places for use by leisure centre customers and before and after-school care for 15 children.

The cabin would also be available to rent by community groups in the evenings and for events and parties at weekends between 9am and 9pm.

The nursery employs 16 people and the plans would create ten more jobs.

Last year Places For People closed the crèche at Blackwater Leisure Centre saying the facility was “underused”.

If the plans are given the green light that scheme would be revived.