New lease of life for historic Moot Hall in Daventry as children's nursery plans are approved

The Moot Hall in Daventry town centre is to become a children's nursery
The Moot Hall in Daventry town centre is to become a children's nursery

The historic Moot Hall in Daventry town centre is to be given a new lease of life after councillors approved the opening of a new children’s nursery.

The application was seeking the change of use of the grade II listed building into a day nursery which will provide childcare and education services for children aged from three months up to 11 years of age.

Over the years the building, which was built in the 1790s and joins onto the Plume of Feathers pub, has acted as the town hall and a courthouse, as well as stints as a museum and tourist information centre and even an Indian restaurant.

Members of Daventry District Council’s planning committee unanimously gave the scheme – submitted by Avenue Nannies Ltd – planning approval when it met on Wednesday (January 15).

In a report to them, planning officers had stated that the building and Daventry Town Conservation Area would ‘not be adversely affected’ by the proposals and would ‘secure continued use of the heritage asset’.

Care and education will be split across the ground and first floors of the building, with the second floor allocated for staff training and the third floor for storage. The new nursery will create 15 full-time jobs.

Councillor Colin Morgan, who is the ward councillor for Abbey South, spoke in support of the application, saying: “It actually struck me as being a very interesting use of the building, it’s very creative. When we’re thinking about bringing footfall into the town, and thinking about new uses of buildings, I think this ticks those boxes.”

Daventry Town Council had originally opposed the application deeming the building ‘unsuitable’ to be used as a children’s nursery, but changed its mind after meeting with the applicant in December and ended up supporting the scheme.