DELAYS in dealing with a development application for a childcare centre on Turner Crescent have meant construction now cannot start until early next year, according to the developer.
The development application passed through Orange City Council by the slimmest of margins on Tuesday night after a rescission motion was voted down, six councillors to five.
However, Australian Childcare Solutions director David Roberts said the two months it took to approve the development and consider reversing the decision meant it was now too late in the year to start construction on the centre.
"Our tenants like to coincide the completion date with the change in the school term so we'll have to meet with them and re-calibrate the start date with when they want to open," he said.
The court says a smaller lower less bulky building could be placed on the site to reduce the visual and other amenity impacts including traffic movements.Councillor Joanne McRae
However, Mr Roberts said he was "very pleased" to have the green light given the growing demand for childcare in Orange.
Traffic concerns were not enough to hold up the proposal - resident John Chamberlain, speaking on behalf of Barbara Olde, said the traffic impacts and pedestrian safety had never been addressed, despite council staff finding the morning and afternoon peaks could be catered for.
"Although there is a total of 32 car parks including one disabled bay, it is acknowledged that parents will, for the sake of convenience, park on the street," he said.
Councillors debated whether to rezone a strip of land between the childcare centre site and Molong Road - councillor Jeff Whitton said it would be a good measure in the event the childcare centre ever expanded and the motion to rezone passed easily.
But when it came to the development application itself, opinion was split.
Councillors Whitton, Kevin Duffy, Glenn Taylor and Jason Hamling said their opinions had not changed since the original application was refused in 2017.
"These people are wanting us to defend them, they want us to defend their quality of life and the safety of their own residents," Cr Duffy said.
Councillor Joanne McRae said the question was whether a reduction from 124 to 94 children was big enough.
"The court says a smaller lower less bulky building could be placed on the site to reduce the visual and other amenity impacts including traffic movements," she said.
"If this not small enough, what number of childcare places would be okay?"
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