ECEC service planned for Coombs to meet growing demand in Molonglo Valley

ECEC service planned for Coombs to meet growing demand in Molonglo Valley

by Freya Lucas

February 15, 2022

A development application has been lodged for a medium scale early childhood education and care (ECEC) service in the Canberra suburb of Coombs to meet growing demand in the Molonglo Valley.

 

The two-storey 59-place service is planned for the corner of Telfer Street and Edwin Hicks Way in the western end of the Coombs, with local news source Riotact reporting that the unidentified proponent sought advice from the government regulator on the size and style of childcare centre that would be suitable and was told a small to medium-scale centre would be best, given the challenges of “quality staffing” that the larger facilities face.

 

Parking will be housed in a basement with 18 spaces, half of which will be designated for staff, as well as six set down and pick up spaces, including one accessible space, and three visitor spaces as well as two secure bicycle spaces.

 

The proposed service has been designed by architects Hyperspace, and will need to cover 173.5 sqm more than the prescribed 35 per cent gross floor area (GFA) to be viable and will also require a lease change.

 

Entry and exit to the service will be via a ramp and verge crossing from Tefler Street. Clients of the service are also expected to walk to the site from nearby apartment blocks on John Gorton Drive only 100 metres away, with pedestrian access from the main entry on Edwin Hicks Way and a gated entry on Tefler Street.

 

Staff rooms and toilets will be on the bottom floor, along with baby and toddler rooms, a kitchen, and a multi-purpose open space area including a covered deck and green space.

 

On the floor above there will be a preschool room, toilets and an outdoor play area, including a covered deck. Landscaping on the site will consist of planted borders, while a nature play area will include native varieties and deciduous trees are planned for the verges. Synthetic grass with a shock pad underlay will surround the building.

 

Sustainability features include solar panels, rainwater harvesting and minimising surface runoff through the landscaped play area.

 

“With seven suburbs in the district in various stages of development, there is a need for centre-based childcare facility in the region,” the Development Application notes, highlighting that there is only one operating childcare centre between Wright and Coombs.

 

“The proposal intends to fill this critical gap in the amenities available to his region.”

 

Hyperspace and the landowners listed on the DA were contacted by Riotact but would not reveal who the centre operator would be.

 

The DA is open for comment until 23 February and may be accessed here. For the original coverage of this story please see here

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