HAPPIER TIMES: Expats Emma (right) and Ashlie close nursery business

A POPULAR expat nursery has been forced to close and layoff all its staff after a town hall mistakenly rejected its licence application.

Wonderland co-owners Emma White, 50, and Ashlie Walker, 32, were told to apply to become a ‘centro de educacion’ after running the successful play school in Marbella since 2012.  

But their application was denied despite the pair spending €25,000 on major refurbishment works and on recruiting new staff.

The vibrant San Pedro nursery, based at La Colonia, was forced to close earlier this year despite having over 50 children as clients.

Emma, originally from Hounslow, in London, told the Olive Press: “We jumped through hoops and crawled over shards of glass for that licence.

“We entrusted a project manager to make sure all the rules and regulation were met, but after all that effort it transpired that he hadn’t.”

After learning their application had been rejected, Emma and Ashlie tried to salvage what they could from the business and find new places for their infants.

GUTTED: Old Logo

Then, in a cruel twist, only two weeks after closing, Marbella Ayuntamiento contacted Wonderland to ‘congratulate’ Emma on successfully gaining the necessary licence.   

It is unclear what spurred the sudden u-turn but the mother-of-four said she was sickened to receive the news.

“The call just rubbed salt in the wounds,” she said.

“When we received the call I just felt like that the town hall had made a spectacle out of us.”

The expats said they will not try to open the school again after being left so out of pocket.

It would also be a huge ‘uphill battle’ to open again.

Marbella town hall did not respond to our request for comment.

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