Major plan for old church where ibuprofen was discovered after Lady Bay nursery closed
An old church with a rich past could soon be demolished to create new apartments. The Wishing Well nursery building, between Oakfields Road and Rutland Road in Lady Bay, was where ibuprofen was first worked on, with the building owner saying mustard gas was also tested at the site during the World War One.
Following the closure of the nursery, there are now plans to convert the building, which was originally built as a Methodist church, into nine apartments. A large existing commercial property, which at one time had also been used as a window factory, would be demolished to make way for the new apartments.
The Wishing Well Nursery had been in operation for over 20 years and closed in December 2021. Building owner Mark Buckingham explained his role and that of his partner in the history of the old church.
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The 56-year-old said: “We bought it in 1997 and although I thought it would last around 10 years, my wife and I ran the nursery there for 24 and a half years. We have had lots of fun and making lots of memories there but we are retiring it was an old window factory when we bought it but it has a lot of history.
“For a long time it was a laboratory for Boots. It was built as a Methodist chapel, but in 1908 it was bought by Jesse Boot. Nurofen was discovered in the laboratories they had there. And then they had tested mustard gas for the WWI war effort.”
According to planning documents, the size of the building would be significantly reduced and its footprint reduced by 27%. Mr Buckingham said he hoped the plans would be seen as reasonable by neighbours, pointing to the benefits of underground parking and the number of flats. “It’s too big for a lot of things we could have done with it,” he said.
“Here it’s a nightmare for parking, so we’re setting up an underground car park with enough spaces for people. You could put more apartments there but we didn’t want to overdo it. The look is probably more modern than I expected, but it will look good. I don’t know of anyone who has a problem with it that I’ve talked to.”
A total of 13 parking spaces would be provided under the new building. Local residents were generally supportive of the plan, expressing a sense that the building could not be left vacant.
Jeremy French, 62, who lives on Oakfields Road, said: “The only concern I would have would be parking with all the football traffic we get here as well. But it looks like that was considered so I don’t have no objection.
“It doesn’t do anyone any good if it’s left empty. I’d rather it be in use than abandoned, it’s been used for the community for quite a while.”
Altaf Mir, 79, who lives opposite the Rutland Road property, said: ‘I’m surprised they want to do this in this area. very narrow on the roads here. It’s a very nice area so there will be demand for them.”
Another Rutland Road resident, who did not want to be named, said: “Parking was a problem but it’s not too big a deal now so I don’t really mind. The only thing for me would be it would take a while to build and then you get that traffic and also the noise but, as long as it’s not a monstrosity once it’s built, then that doesn’t bother me too much. pending review by Rushcliffe Borough Council.