Footscray service concerned about high rise build
The Sector > Economics > Property > Footscray families concerned about future of Saltwater Child Care Centre

Footscray families concerned about future of Saltwater Child Care Centre

by Freya Lucas

February 21, 2024

Families utilising Saltwater Child Care Centre in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray have asked the Victorian Government not to approve a plan for a multi-storey healthcare centre which would overlook the service. 


More than 70 families use the service, and centre director Nancy Casella is very concerned about the experience of the children both during construction and afterwards, should the building go ahead as planned. 


A planning permit for the land at 5-11 Geelong Road, Footscray was knocked back by the Maribyrnong council in November 2023, however given the large cost of the development proposed by Erica Healthcare Partners the final decision about the build sits with the state government. 


“We need specialist services,” Ms Casella shared with Star Weekly, “but this spot is not appropriate.”


“We are concerned about what will happen to us (and) what the development will do to our centre.” 


Should construction go ahead, she continued, “there’s no way we could possibly operate during construction and post construction.”


Ms Casella cited concerns with additional traffic, privacy issues for the children, and the noise and pollution that the build would cause. 


“It is going to be such a huge building, they will be able to look into the children’s playground area and overshadow the whole area, taking away the natural light” she said.

“Where does that leave the privacy and the safety of our children that are in our care?”


During construction, she noted worries about construction sounds and ground movement, wondering how the children’s need for sleep and rest would be catered for. 


In response to the concerns a Department of Transport and Planning spokesperson said the plans for the proposed private Footscray facility are still available online.


“No decision has been made and we welcome submissions from the community which will be considered as a part of the decision making process.”


A spokesperson for Erica Healthcare Partners said “We do not wish to comment as the matter is currently being considered via the planning process”.


To access the original coverage of this story please see here

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