OBJECTORS to the development of a childcare centre in suburban Wendouree say a new centre catering for up to 100 children will be detrimental to the quiet neighbourhood.
There has been 14 objections to the proposal to build a childcare centre and kindergarten at 1018-1022 Grevillea Road, Wendouree, many saying a centre on that size does not fit the make up of the largely retried or elderly population.
Kelly Elizabeth told The Courier the plans to turn a former church into the centre would transform a quiet residential area into a busy thoroughfare.
"The increased activity is going to add to a lot more noise and traffic," Ms Elizabeth said.
"The proposal is for four outdoor play areas which neighbour directly onto properties. The initial application did not include noise minimisation.
"There's been a very sparse response. They'e now promised an 'acoustic fence' which they say will reduce the noise of traffic movement, but what about the 100 children?"
The proposal was first listed on March 13 this year, as coronavirus lockdowns started.
Councillors will debate the merits of the proposal at the next council meeting, with officers at this stage recommending to grant the permit on the basis a number of amendments to the original plans are adhered to.
The proposal seeks an updating of the current former church site to comprise four learning areas, with associated storage and restroom facilities, staff, office and kitchen areas and reception area.
The outdoor learning and play space is to be approximately 906 square metres with the provision of up to 100 children and staff provision based on number of children enrolled.
The hours of operation are proposed as 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
In his report to councillors, infrastructure and environment officer Darren Sadler said "before the development starts, an acoustic assessment of the use/development must be submitted to and be approved in writing by the responsible authority".
"The acoustic assessment... must detail recommended measures and/or treatments to ensure that noise emissions from the development do not impact adversely on the amenity of the adjoining residential properties," Mr Sadler's report says.
Ms Elizabeth said other issues also remained with lack of car parking options for staff, which she said will mean more cars in neighbouring streets
She added with a strong elderly residential population, a childcare centre would simply not service the local community.
"The unique thing about this site is that it's completely and closely surrounded by residential homes," Ms Elizabeth said.
"Other facilities like this in Wendouree tend to be on the periphery of commercial zones or on main roads.
"We are also concerned about the integrity of the planning permit process giving social distancing was in place when we received the application, we were not able to meet as residents.
"We have a lot of elderly people in the area and they have no access to the internet. I am aware of one resident who spoke to the planning office and felt reassured by the conversation, however subsequently he encountered a neighbour and saw a copy of the plans and has now placed in an objections as well."
A decision is expected at the next council meeting on July 22.
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