Plans for a new nursery on the site of a former nursing home were rejected over “unrealistic” claims three-quarters of visitors would travel by foot.

Harrow Council’s planning committee refused an application for prior approval for the nursery at Oakleigh House, in Oakleigh Road, Hatch End.

The applicant, Oakleigh Road Childcare Limited, hoped to create a new facility for up to 127 children, though it was acknowledged by the council there would ordinarily be no more than 100 at the site at any one time.

However, councillors primarily took issue with the suggestion that just 12 per cent of visitors would travel by car, while 75 per cent would choose to walk.

Cllr Simon Brown (Lab, Headstone South) said he thought this was a “typo” in the officers’ report and suggested these figures “wouldn’t stand up” in reality.

This was a view shared by the rest of the committee, who felt it was “unrealistic” to assume so many people would walk to the nursery.

Cllr Christine Robson (Lab, West Harrow), who is responsible for young people and schools at Harrow Council, said this would not fit in with the “pressures” faced by so many working parents in the borough.

And Cllr Marilyn Ashton (Con, Stanmore Park), Harrow Conservatives’ spokesman on planning, said she “couldn’t believe the figures” that were put forward.

Objections were also raised by ward councillors John Hinkley and Jean Lammiman (both Con, Hatch End), who suggested it could have consequences for the area’s environment.

Cllr Lammiman said the proposals would “undermine everything” and were “inappropriate for a suburban road”.

She said: “This is a great building to have something else there, but one that shouldn’t spoil social lives.”

Sati Panesar, from DHA Planning and Development, the agent representing the applicant, explained several surveys had been “diligently undertaken” to address any issues around noise at the site.

There were plans to put up a new fence around the property to manage acoustics, while Mr Panesar noted outdoor activities would take place in small groups and would be staggered throughout the day.

He added any traffic situation would be different to a school in that there would not be any morning and afternoon peaks, with arrivals “more evenly spread out” across opening hours.