Melville Council considers ECEC construction ban on main roads
Western Australia’s Melville Council has considered banning the construction of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services along busy highways such as Leach and Canning, and popular roads such as South Street over concerns about the effect of pollution on young children.
In a planning policy, the council has labelled certain locations as undesirable, and building on this, will soon make changes to the planning scheme that would formally deem ECEC services as an unpermitted use on sections of primary distributor roads.
The decision to make those changes came last week, just hours after the Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) turned down development plans for a new Sonas early learning centre on Leach Highway in Willagee, in part because of concerns over air pollution, local news source Perth Now reported.
Deputy Mayor Nicholas Pazolli, who also represents the council on the Metro Inner-South JDAP, described the high volumes of traffic on the three major roads as extreme while sharing concerns about the effect that could have on children before they even reach school age.
“The potential health impacts are much more severe on children of this age than on older school children or adults,” he said.
Four centres already operate along the major roads, with a further two approved for construction and plans for another, in Attadale, currently out for public consultation as it awaits JDAP consideration, Perth Now shared.
The Council’s main concerns are around air quality and noise, and how both of those impact on children.
“The health and safety of the community is a priority for the City and so the increased number of childcare centres located on busy primary regional roads warrants careful consideration,” City of Melville chief executive Marten Tieleman told the paper.
To read the original coverage of this story, please see here.