MP questions development approval in Narre Warren North, citing over saturated market
MP Ann-Marie Hermans has questioned the approval of an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service at 1 Grantchester Road in Narre Warren North given a high number of proposed or approved ECEC services nearby.
At a Legislative Council sitting on Tuesday 1 August, Ms Hermans raised a motion calling for reasons behind the number of approvals saying “advice from Casey council is that a decision will be made shortly, but now we hear that a new childcare (sic.) centre has been approved at 1 Grantchester Road, Narre North, and locals say this is 300 metres from the other childcare centre.”
“With every childcare centre in this vicinity not operating at full capacity and with confirmed vacancies for 2023 and 2024, we want to know why 1 Grantchester Road, Narre North, has been granted an approval…in such close proximity to two centres nearby – and three applications are all also underway.”
She again raised the issue during the Legislative Council sitting on Wednesday 16 August, adding that Casey Council was unable to provide her office with a specific date.
“I was advised by Casey Council over three weeks ago that a decision was pending,” she said.
“In fact every time we contact the council they say we will have a decision in a couple of weeks, and that has been going on for many weeks now.”
Speaking with local news source Berwick News, Casey Council growth and investment manager Kathryn Seirlis said the council issued a notice of decision to grant a permit for the use and development of a childcare centre at 1 Grantchester Road in Narre Warren North.
“A notice of decision is not a planning permit, but it signals council’s intention to grant the permit and identifies the conditions to be included on it,” she said.
“If there are no appeals to VCAT then a permit will follow.”
She highlighted that assessment was made against relevant legislation and policies under the Casey Planning Scheme, and that competition among individual businesses, regulations on the quantity or proximity of a specific type of business in a particular area, and the potential impact on both existing and proposed businesses was not something which would be part of the consideration process.
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