Gwelup childcare centre gets green light

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

REVISED plans for a two-storey childcare centre in Gwelup have been approved.

The Metro North-West Joint Development Assessment Panel first considered the $3.3 million proposal for 50 and 52 Porter Street – opposite Lake Gwelup pre-primary and primary schools – in May but deferred making a decision to allow the applicant to address concerns raised.

Urbis senior consultant Emma Dunning said the design had evolved following the City of Stirling’s design reference panel and discussions with City officers following the previous panel decision.

Changes included providing 33 car parking bays on-site, removing the proposed embayment within the Porter Street road reserve, and providing revised landscaping , waste management and acoustic plans.

Ms Dunning said the proposal was “generally compliant” but did seek discretion with a 6.4m wall in lieu of 6m and a 0.91m setback to North Beach Road instead of the required 1.5m.

She said the centre would cater for 112 children and 22 employees, operating Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm, and there was “sufficient demand in the catchment for additional childcare centres”.

However, Cory Fee, of eDriving LLC, spoke against the proposal with increased traffic concerns and parking issues particularly during peak school times.

City senior planning officer Giovanna Lumbaca said it was the school’s obligation to manage its parking and the City would be happy to help the school address any issues.

Deputy presiding member Sheryl Chaffer also asked where construction vehicles would be able to park so as not to add to the issues.

Ms Dunning said there was a shared site behind the proposal that was not being developed so it could accommodate construction vehicle parking.

Stirling councillor Bianca Sandri moved the City’s recommendation to conditionally approve the proposal.

She said she appreciated the community’s concerns about traffic but believed they could be managed through conditions, acknowledging that all vehicular access to the centre would be from Porter Street which is currently operating under capacity.

She also said the discretionary land use would be welcomed given the school nearby, with the design “sympathetic to the street” and something that would “stand the test of time”.

The proposal was unanimously approved, with presiding member Karen Hyde adding a condition to have a traffic and parking management plan submitted to the City, including information on drop-off and pick-up times and staff parking.

More news from around Perth