Stirling council approves Balcatta childcare centre

Stock image.
Stock image.

A BALCATTA childcare centre has been approved with restricted operating hours.

Stirling Council exercised its discretion in approving Mark Anthony Design’s application for the centre at 366 Main Street in a residential area.

The City received six objections and an online petition with seven signatures against the development, citing parking and traffic issues, noise and the potential effect on surrounding property values and residents’ privacy.

City officers recommended approval subject to conditions and noted in their report presented at Tuesday’s council meeting that previous State Administrative Tribunal reviews determined childcare centres should not be presumed incompatible with residential zoning.

During public question time at the meeting, resident Jake Polkinghorne raised concerns about the effect of traffic and whether operating hours would be adhered to.

He was also unhappy that he approached councillor Adam Spagnolo last year with his concerns and did not find out until late January that he was related to one of the applicants.

Planning director Ross Povey said operating hours could be varied only by approval from the City and councillors were not required to disclose interests until items were presented at committee or council meetings, which Cr Spagnolo did.

Approval conditions include limiting the centre’s operating hours to 8am to 4pm weekdays, a maximum of 35 children and four staff on site, a requirement for nine parking bays and one designated pick up/drop off bay, and windows facing homes to be double-glazed.