Decision on Gwelup childcare centre deferred

An artist impression of the proposed childcare centre for Porter Street, Gwelup.
An artist impression of the proposed childcare centre for Porter Street, Gwelup.

A DECISION on a proposed childcare centre in Gwelup was deferred on Thursday to address concerns.

The proposal was for a $3.3 million two-storey childcare centre across 50 and 52 Porter Street – opposite Lake Gwelup pre-primary and primary schools – where two single houses currently sit.

It would include two outdoor play areas and 30 on-site car parking bays, and have capacity for 112 children and 22 staff.

During community consultation, the City of Stirling received 49 submissions including 38 objections with concerns about traffic, car parking, safety of students and pedestrians, noise, operation times conflicting with school drop-off and pick-up times, and the impact of demolition on surrounding houses.

City officers had recommended the Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel refuse the application from Msp Gwelup based on parking issues and landscaping.

Representing the applicant, Urbis senior planner Kris Nolan said they were seeking a parking shortfall of three car bays and a reduced landscape buffer to the east, which he said were “far from significant” and could be addressed through conditions.

He said earlier designs had met the 1.5m landscaping buffer but it was removed following the Design Review Panel’s questions of survivability, and replaced with a landscaped edge and mature trees to still meet the intent of a buffer.

He said the overall plans still met the 10 per cent landscaping required, had adequate soil depth and included additional street trees.

An artist impression of the proposed childcare centre for Porter Street, Gwelup.

Regarding parking, Transcore managing director Behnam Bordbar said the proposal did not rely on any street parking and believed the centre would not add to any existing parking problems potentially related to the schools.

City senior planning officer Giovanna Lumbaca said while there were questions regarding the landscape buffer, it should not have been removed but instead made suitable.

She also said while a three-bay shortfall “may seem insignificant”, there was a lot of vacant land at the rear of the site that could be used to address the issue, and the City was not satisfied the shortfall would not result in a major parking problem in the area.

The application was unanimously deferred until June 28 to allow the applicant to submit revised plans to the City for assessment.

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