Childcare centre build goes ahead despite objections from residents and councillors

by Freya Lucas

February 14, 2020

Another Victorian childcare centre is to be built, in the suburb of Brookfield, despite “a number of objections” from residents and councillors, using a previous VCAT ruling on a similar childcare centre in the area to push through objections. 


Melton Council has approved plans for 90 place centre on Clarkes Road, local news source Star Weekly said, in spite of 24 community objections citing concerns about commercial intrusion into a residential area, and also concerns over congestion. 


Council planning services manager, Bob Baggio, referred to a recent VCAT decision on a similar childcare centre in the area to back the council officers recommendation, noting that although childcare centres are not a residential use, they are considered to be “a use which is compatible to a residential area.” 


Making reference to the previous VCAT ruling, Mr Baggio noted that childcare services provide “a valuable community service and is a needed and necessary offering in today’s society.”


Star Weekly quoted local Councillor Ken Hardy as being in opposition to the application, which he believed should have been denied based on road services in the area not being able to cope with the increased traffic.


Bob Turner, another local Councillor, was quoted by Star Weekly as being in favour of the application, saying it was important for more childcare centres to be introduced to the region in order to keep up with growth. 


“There are 45 babies born every week in Melton, that’s two kindergarten classes, and this small centre will have places for 90 children, so four classrooms.Instead of denying services that we need in Melton, we should be encouraging the quicker duplication of this road, because it will happen. I can’t see any reason to deny this.”


The alternate motion was defeated by six votes to three, and the childcare centre was subsequently approved, Star Weekly said. 

To read the original coverage of this story, please see here