Protest causes traffic chaos on suburban Perth street

Cars parked on Spoonbill Road in Stirling in protest to a proposed childcare centre.
Cars parked on Spoonbill Road in Stirling in protest to a proposed childcare centre.

DRIVERS have caused traffic chaos on a suburban Stirling street in protest of a proposed childcare centre.

About 80 people convened on Spoonbill Road on Friday evening, parking their cars along the road to replicate what they believe would be traffic problems caused by the planned development and reducing the road to a single lane.

A Facebook page created to oppose the centre, Save Stirling Streets, posted that the protest “caused traffic to grind to a halt”.

“The street stopped working with just five cars parked on the side and people driving through became violent and threatening with the slow down,” the post said.

The proposal is to transform a home on the corner of Spoonbill Road and Cedric Street to a childcare centre catering for up to 52 children and eight staff members at any one time.

The City of Stirling advertised the plans for public comment last September but the applicant, West Perth company Perth Re, later made changes to meet residential design codes and the revised proposal was re-advertised this month.

Cars parked on Spoonbill Road in Stirling in protest to the proposed childcare centre.

Spoonbill resident Ralph Jeffs said he was concerned about the centre’s location at a roundabout, lack of parking and potential noise in the residential area.

“The plan does not allow for anywhere near the requisite number of car parks for the number of children involved,” he said.

“The increase in traffic on a side road of over 250 cars a day increasing what is already a rat run through Stirling.”

A traffic impact report submitted to the City said the centre would have a “negligible impact” on traffic in the area, attracting an additional 224 vehicles per day, with the peak hour to be 50 vehicles between 8am and 9am.

A City ranger was called to the protest, which Mr Jeffs said was “proof of the stupidity of the location for the centre”.

Community development director Michael Quirk said the ranger did not take action because cars could still pass safely and was advised cars were parked temporarily.

He said along with amendments to the childcare centre plans, a large number of submissions from residents were received during the initial consultation period.

The Stirling property (right) subject of the childcare centre proposal. Photo: Laura Pond

“The City decided to readvertise the application…due to the increased public interest in the application and to ensure accurate information relating to the application was provided to the wider community,” Mr Quirk said.

“The application is still under assessment and the impact of traffic associated with the proposed development and its impacts upon local amenity will be considered as part of this assessment.”

The protest reduced Spoonbill Road to a single lane.

The development proposes to have 14 car and four bike bays, and operate weekdays from 6.30am to 6.30pm and Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.

View the plans here until January 15.

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