Ipswich Council refuses LDC development
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > Ipswich City Council refuses ECEC build despite growing evidence of regional care needs

Ipswich City Council refuses ECEC build despite growing evidence of regional care needs

by Freya Lucas

June 01, 2023

Queensland’s Ipswich City Council has refused a proposed long day care (LDC) centre in the suburb of Camira over concerns its proposed scale, bulk and impacts on residential amenity were not sufficiently addressed by the applicant.


The refusal comes at an interesting juncture in the broader early childhood education and care (ECEC) landscape with a mounting body of evidence pointing to the need for greater ECEC provision in regional and rural communities. 


The development application was lodged with council last year, proposing a 76-place childcare centre on a 1,865sqm corner lot on a residential street at 1 Woodlands Avenue.


The developer proposed to demolish the existing dwelling and build a two-storey building on the site, with 24 car parking spaces. The centre was proposed to operate between 6am and 6pm Monday to Friday.


“Council highlighted with the applicant that the proposed two-storey building did not comply with the outcomes sought for the Large Lot Residential Zone,” said Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding.


“Issues detailed by council planning officers included the proposed site coverage, the bulk of the building, boundary setbacks and potential amenity impacts on adjoining residential properties.”


On receiving feedback from the Council, the applicant revised the proposal’s design which included an increase to the site coverage. The revised design proposed additional staff and an increase in the number of child care places to 87.


The revised design still exceeded the scale and established built character considered to be consistent with the intent of the Large Lot Residential zoning.


Council representatives also noted issues with the number of car parks proposed, which did not comply with the specific outcomes of the Parking Code as the applicant did not identify all full-time equivalent staff required to service the development, and asked for more information about stormwater management, waste collection and traffic management.


The applicant provided a partial response to an information request indicating that they would work with council on responding to the technical matters raised, if in-principle support was given for the revised design.


“In April, the applicant instructed council to decide the application with the information provided,” said Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chair and Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully.


“In accordance with council’s development application framework, owing to the application receiving more than 20 properly made submissions objecting to the proposed development, the application was required to be decided by council.”


Although the Council acknowledged the community need for more LDC provision in the area, it said in this instance that the application did not satisfactorily address issues with residential amenity, bulk and scale of the built form, parking, waste management, stormwater and landscaping.


As such, Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic explained, council officers determined the current proposal could not be appropriately conditioned to address all the matters raised.


“Council is sensitive to the ongoing pressures on families around Ipswich and the need for more child care centres to support busy parents,” Cr Jonic said.


“However, the application as proposed did not sufficiently address the council’s planning framework or address issues raised in the proposal.”

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