Counsellors vote down planning application for new centre in Frankston S, Victoria
In the latest example of local councils taking a harder line against developers of early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres, Frankston Council has voted against approving an 84 place centre in Frankston South, despite recommendations from council officers to support it.
As first reported by The News Bayside, the plan to construct an ECEC centre in Barmah Court, Frankston South, was denied on the grounds that the proposed development was contrary to the neighbourhood character policy, due to the removal of large established trees and the failure of the plan to maintain and enhance the continuous flow of vegetation across the landscape.
The planning application and recommendation was submitted to the Council Meeting for deliberation on the 12 August, 2019. The submission included details of a series of objections made by local residents against the project.
While acknowledging the concerns of local residents, the council officers summative report concluded that “the proposal is considered to be consistent with the requirements of the Frankston Planning Scheme, including the relevant state and local planning policy framework, neighbourhood character, zone, overlays and particular provisions including bushfire planning” and that “overall it is considered that the proposal is reasonable and should be supported by Council.”
Despite this recommendation The News Bayside reported that Councillors Glenn Aitken, Brian Cunial, Quinn McCormack, Colin Hampton, Sandra Mayer, and Steve Toms voted to reject the permit to the applicant at the meeting.
The mayor Michael O’Reilly voted against a refusal, and Cr Kris Bolam abstained.
This decision is the latest of a series of recent rulings by councils, VCAT and courts against proposed ECEC centre planning applications and confirms a growing consensus that planning and application determinations are becoming increasingly exacting for developers of ECEC centres.