Residential properties to be demolished for 86 place service
The Sector > Economics > Property > Residential properties in Como to be demolished to build 86 place ECEC service

Residential properties in Como to be demolished to build 86 place ECEC service

by Freya Lucas

April 17, 2024

Residential properties at 5 and 7 Birdwood Avenue in Como, a suburb of Perth, will be demolished to make way for a new early childhood education and care (ECEC) service despite “overwhelming community opposition,” local news source PerthNow reports


The homes, which sit metres from Collier Primary School, will be replaced by an 86 place ECEC centre which will educate and care for 86 children across 2002sqm.


The $2 million development, the proposal of applicant Dynamic Planning and Developments, has the unanimous support of the Metro Inner Joint Development Assessment Panel (DAP) despite recent community consultation showing that more than 96 per cent of respondents opposed the build, raising concerns relating to noise, traffic and that an ECEC facility was not compatible with a residential suburb.


To be open from 7 am to 6:30 pm five days a week, the centre will have 13 permanent employees, and will offer 24 parking spaces for employees and families. 


For Como resident John Basset, the build is unnecessary, with four other ECEC services within one kilometre of the site, leaving him concerned about the possibility that the establishment of the site may drive other services in the region out of business.


In 2022, the City of South Perth rejected an application to transform the same site into a childcare (sic.) facility because it would have a “negative impact on the site’s development context, residential amenity, and character of the area in terms of traffic, parking, noise and overall intensity of the land use proposed”.


“The council recommendations … do not reflect the input from our community on this issue,” Mr Basset said.


“(I’m) stunned by the complete flip by the council, from refusing the development to then recommending it to be approved when there has been virtually no change.”


The new build, he said “is very clearly a commercial structure being extended into the residential area,” a perspective shared by former councillor Stephen Russell who empathised with how “disheartened” the Como community must be feeling after the city did not include community responses within the Responsible Authority Report.


“What we have, is the city summarising the community responses into one-liners of their own making and DAP members, being decision makers, are required to accept this into supposedly making an informed decision based upon these,” he said.


“This is not fair nor reasonable.”


Despite this perspective Dynamic Planning and Developments planning co-ordinator Reegan Cake said he believed the development would have “no negative impacts” on the surrounding community.


“Ultimately, we consider the proposal to be a well-located childcare (sic.) premises that has been designed to ensure no negative impacts on the adjoining residential community,” he said.


“There are another four local schools and a growing residential community within the precinct … this contributes to a growing demand for a childcare service in the area and I think the uptake will be positive in the future as that residential community grows.”


DAP presiding member Lee O’Donohue acknowledged the concerns of residents, however she has “no doubt that this childcare centre will be used and booked out in no time.” 


“These are very essential community activities and they are finding their way more and more into these (residential) sites because we’ve got established suburbs where there simply isn’t the land to provide them elsewhere.”


“It’s fairly simple in its design, there’s significant landscaping provided, I think that there’s probably a lot of merit.”


To read the original coverage of this story please see here

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