Duncraig childcare centre refused, tutor business approved

Duncraig Shopping Centre. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Duncraig Shopping Centre. Picture: Martin Kennealey

A CHILDCARE centre proposed for Marri Road in Duncraig has again been refused.

The Joondalup council first considered the proposal in June, where it voted to refer it back to allow the applicant to address issues raised by the community and the City.

The council then considered revised plans in October, where it refused the proposal.

It said while concerns relating to built form and setbacks had been addressed, issues with parking, safety and access had not.

The applicant – Hawaiian – then appealed the decision to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) and through the mediation process, submitted additional traffic analysis and amended plans to the council.

These include eight carparking bays restricted to childcare customers only during peak drop-off and pick-up times, staff to park at the main Duncraig Shopping Centre carpark, reconfiguring five angled parking bays in the main carpark to create an extra four bays on-site, six extra bays on the verge of Roche Road and additional pedestrian footpath links.

Representing the applicant, Aaron Lohman said at last month’s meeting that traffic counts on Roche Road were currently at 2240 vehicles per day, and would increase to 2570 after the construction of the Marri Road apartments and childcare centre, but this was still below the road’s capacity of 3000.

“And it is a relatively low-speed environment,” he said.

He said a childcare centre was suited to the site, as it was next to Duncraig Primary School and it would be an upgrade to the streetscape because it would not be open on weekends or at nights, as opposed to the previous restaurant.

The latest revised plans were advertised with 19 submissions received, all objecting to the development.

Resident Hannah van Didden said their concerns had not been addressed, with safety still a primary issue.

She said there was a steep slope from Roche Road to Marri Road, which was even more dangerous when wet, and the roads would only get busier with the construction of the apartments.

Another resident said the carpark was already an “accident waiting to happen”.

Though City officers said the amended plans “adequately addressed” the issues and recommended the proposal be conditionally approved, Cr Russ Fishwick moved an alternative motion to refuse the application.

He said he still had concerns with the negative impact on neighbouring properties, increase in traffic, pedestrian safety and insufficient parking with 13 staff members required to park at the shopping centre which was already often at capacity.

He said there was “no safe walkable access” to the childcare centre because of the steep slope, particularly for those with disabilities or prams.

“There is a real risk of pedestrian injury,” he said.

Cr Sophie Dwyer said while having a childcare centre near a school had great potential, she was “not comfortable” with the proposal and believed the traffic management strategy needed to be reconsidered.

The alternative motion was passed 12-1 with Cr Kerry Hollywood voting against.

 

Tutoring business approved for nearby Marri Road site

JOONDALUP councillors at the same meeting approved a change of use to allow an education establishment at 34 Marri Road in Duncraig.

The proposal was for a Kip McGrath education centre to provide specialised tutoring for schoolchildren at two tenancies on the ground level of the building, which had a land use of office and shop but were vacant.

It would have three tutors and a maximum of 15 students at any given time.

The proposal was advertised with four submissions received, of which three were objections with parking concerns.

At its meeting in November, the council approved an overall on-site car parking shortfall of eight bays when it considered an outdoor eating area for Little H cafe.

According to last month’s council document, the change of use proposal would increase the shortfall to 10 bays.

However, the business would operate from 4pm to 7pm on Mondays to Fridays, which is outside of the current operating hours for Little H.

“As such, the increased parking shortfall from eight to 10 bays will not be a shortfall in practical terms,” it said.

It was unanimously approved with Cr Sophie Dwyer saying it was an opportunity to “add vibrancy, support business and see different businesses in the area”.

Cr Tom McLean did raise parking concerns if there was a change to Little H’s operating hours.