COUNCILLORS have rejected a child care centre proposed for Bel-Air due to traffic concerns.
Orange City Council deferred the matter in June pending a site inspection after residents opposed the development concerned about sightlines for people turning into the centre, extra traffic causing delays in Mastronardi Way and staff and parents parking on the street, limiting two-way traffic flow.
Staff included a condition to prohibit any street parking, however councillor Jeff Whitton moved to refuse the development.
“I’ve taken the time to pop up there and have a bit of a look and I don’t believe this type of business is suitable … based on our ability as a council to oversee the conditions we’ve placed on the development,” he said.
Councillor Ron Gander said he witnessed the death of a toddler at another child care centre after the child was hit by a car.
“It’s still so vivid in my mind, the mother couldn’t be consoled,” he said.
“That corner is a death trap and that road is so narrow.”
Councillor Scott Munro said he had been in talks with the developer earlier in the day and asked for a deferral to consider an alternate traffic flow plan to halve the amount of cars using Turner Crescent, however he was silenced by councillors Neil Jones and Glenn Taylor, who said the DA was what they had in front of them.
“Councillors can talk to the developer all they like but what we have in front of us is totally unacceptable,” he said.
“Turner Crescent wouldn’t cope with that.”
Cr Jones said it was the first time he had seen such a proposal on a 90-degree bend on a local road.
“Despite the claims in the report how cars can turn right and other cars can pass on the kerb side, that’s a nonsense,” he said.
“There’s a huge danger of accident or injury.”
Fellow councillor Reg Kidd said even approval from NSW Roads and Maritime Services was no guarantee a traffic arrangement was going to work, citing problems at the Five Ways intersection when the service station was built.
“I believe until we’re really convinced there’s a suitable traffic plan, I can’t support it,” he said.
Councillors Munro and Chris Gryllis supported a deferral, but were voted down and the development was then rejected unanimously.