Concerned Applecross residents rally against proposed childcare centre build

Concerned Applecross residents rally against proposed childcare centre build

by Freya Lucas

July 23, 2021

Residents in the Perth riverside suburb of Applecross have shared their concerns about the proposed construction of an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service at a busy intersection after a number of recent accidents at the site. 

 

Approval for the service, to be built at the corner of Matheson Road and Cunningham Street was given by the Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) in March, much to the dismay of some residents, local news source Perth Now has shared

 

The two storey service will back on to Canning Highway, making the location especially problematic for an ECEC service, neighbour Donna Cargill said, given that many motorists negotiate the quick two-point turn from Canning Highway to Matheson Road, which is often used as a “rat run” during peak hour.

 

As recently as the end of May the site of the proposed service was again impacted by an accident which saw a Holden Astra lose control and collide with the brick fence of a house opposite. Less than two weeks later, another car veered off Canning Highway and crashed into the site itself.

 

Should either of these accidents have occurred while the proposed service was operational, Ms Cargill said, the results could have been devastating. 

 

“These accidents clearly demonstrate how hazardous this tight, three-street intersection is,” she added. 

 

The JDAP approved the service despite objections from the Melville Council, who recommended the application be denied. City planners also lodged objections, however the Responsible Authority Report (RAR) prepared by the planners only highlighted the location and failed to address safety concerns.

 

Ms Cargill believes the proposal was approved because the RAR was “far too flimsy” and didn’t fully account for the issues of traffic, parking, design and noise.

 

Residents, she continued, wrote to the City’s planning and development manager Peter Prendergast, who acknowledged their concerns but replied the City was powerless to intervene.

 

“The decision taken by the JDAP is effectively binding,” Mr Prendergast wrote.

 

“In WA, there are no third party appeal rights to the State Administrative Tribunal, which means that the decision cannot be challenged by you or your neighbours.”

 

To access the original coverage of this story, as prepared by Perth Now, please see here

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