THE commissioner assessing a Land and Environment Court appeal for a childcare centre in Turner Crescent has described the development application (DA) as “simply too much”.
Senior Commissioner Rosemary Martin refused Australian Childcare Solutions’ DA on Thursday on several grounds.
She agreed the site’s constraints allowed an opportunity to do something different.
“The problem with the ‘something different’ proposed by the applicant is that there is, in my view, simply too much of it,” she said.
“While a childcare centre will not be entirely consistent with residential use, it does not have to be so inconsistent with it as this proposed development is.
“I find that the proposed development pushes the site beyond its capacity.”
In her judgment, Ms Martin said the 65 metre-long building would be two metres taller than surrounding houses and the roof’s bulk and scale justified refusal.
“No evidence was provided as to why the roof needs to be such a prominent feature of the development,” she said.
She said the setback was inconsistent with surrounding homes and referred to the location of the play equipment at the front, necessary to cater for the number of children.
“With a smaller number of children, this intrusion would not be necessary,” she said.
“Further, lowering of the roofline in a smaller development might resolve these negative impacts, but that would be a matter for consideration if a revised design were to be submitted to the council.”
Ms Martin also found the amount of outdoor space provided was just short of the requirement and a less intensive development would have provided more space.
Traffic impacts formed the main objection raised by residents when Orange City Council assessed the DA.
Ms Martin said while the increase fell within the Roads and Maritime Services guide, it was still five times the amount of traffic Turner Crescent currently experienced and would significantly worsen residential amenity.
Mayor Reg Kidd said the decision vindicated the council’s decision to reject the project.
“Council will be examining the reasons for the decision closely,” he said.
“The commissioner has found that there is no single reason which warrants the refusal, but that because of the accumulation of deficiencies, these taken together result in the decision to refuse consent.”
Australian Childcare Solutions executive chairman David Roberts declined to comment, saying he would review the findings after the festive season.