City of Wanneroo blocks new childcare centre

CITY of Wanneroo councillors have refused a development application for a childcare centre at Hocking’s Wyatt Grove Shopping Centre because of a parking shortfall.

At its July 21 council meeting, plans were referred back to staff for a safety audit on a nearby Woolworths service lane because of concerns that families accessing the centre from bays included east of the facility would be put at risk.

After State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) mediation in August, a new plan was proposed with a landscaped public area replacing the 23 bays.

The application was again considered by councillors on September 15 in response to an invitation by the SAT.

The centre planned to cater for 62 children up to the age of five, and operate from 6.30am to 6.30pm Mondays to Fridays with 14 staff.

A council report said 22 car bays were needed in the plans, but developers argued they were unnecessary.

The report said results from a car parking analysis recently held by the applicant showed 306 bays on site at full build would be enough, including for the December peak period when demand would call for 298 bays.

However, the City’s findings revealed the current 110 bay shortfall would increase to 132 as a result of the childcare centre and a prior analysis submitted with their original application included a possible shortfall of 18 bays at full build.

Representing owner Wyatt Grove Developments, Planning Solutions’ Ross Underwood told the council their recent analysis showed the car park would never be full even if they were to provide the childcare centre.

Mr Underwood said it was preferable to provide a range |of community facilities rather than a “sea of unused car |parking” at the site.

“This proposal would not have been put to council if we were not confident this childcare centre would not impinge on the parking provided for the shopping centre,” he said.

“The provision of car parking is paramount to my client.”

Cr Frank Cvitan, who moved the July motion for the plans to be revisited, said he was in favour of the facility but supported the recommended refusal.

“I hope that the applicant comes back with a modified version,” he said.