A child care centre in a residential area would allow children only four hours outdoor play a day in order to meet noise restrictions requirements, Orange City Council has been told.
Residents in Kearneys Drive have opposed the development of a 52-place centre on grounds ranging from noise, car parking concerns, traffic and over-development of the site.
A spokesman for the residents Anthony Daintith told the public forum at council's Tuesday night meeting the development met the 'absolute bare minimum' of what was needed to get planning approval.
I would be a bit dismayed if I was a parent about putting kids into a centre where they can only play outside for four hours a dayCr Joanne McRae
He said that included a limit on the hours children could play outside to only four of the 11 hours (7am-6pm) the centre would open each day .
"The restriction of a small car park and four hours of outside play a day are unrealistic," he said.
"If the metrics are not followed completely the centre will be in breach of the requirements. There's absolutely no room for error," he said.
A staff report to council recommended approval after the applicant, Mr S Muffet, amended the DA from an original application last year which had 61 spaces for children.
However, council decided to defer its decision and instead seek a site visit with council staff.
Cr Joanne McRae said she was concerned by the outdoor play time limit.
"I would be a bit dismayed if I was a parent about putting kids into a centre where they can only play outside for four hours a day," she said.
"I think that would be an interesting commercial decision but that's to comply with the regulations for noise."
Cr McRae said council would need to have specific planning reasons to refuse the application.
"I don't want to give the neighbours false hope," she said. "It is a permissable development and it complies."
Cr Glenn Taylor said he had "major concerns" about traffic and the location.
"It is slap bang in the centre of a residential area," he said.
Cr Stephen Nugent said it was unclear whether staff could use the 13 on-site parking spaces or whether they would have to park on the road.
"While the report says 'yes, the staff assess it as a complying development,' I still have some residual concerns," he said.
Cr Kevin Duffy said he expected centre users would park on the road as was happening at other child care centres.
"It is an over-development in a small area," he said.
"I have issues with the noise."
Cr Tony Mileto said he supported the deferral but was concerned that councillors should be doing a site inspection before the matter was put before them "'as a matter of process".
Under the proposed regulations the centre would be restricted to allowing children to play outdoors for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.
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