20 Newdegate Street, Deakin, ACT

PROPOSAL FOR NEW CHILDCARE CENTRE, CHURCH AND LEASE VARIATION - Lease Variation to add child care centre as a permitted use; demolition of the existing church building and associated structures, construction of new church and childcare centre including playrooms, amenities, and associated facilities, new landscaped outdoor play area, construction of new driveways, verge and carparking, construction of two new two-storey dwellings with attached garages for church use, civil works including lighting, pathways and fencing, landscaping including tree removal and replacement, and associated works.

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website 9 months ago. The date it was received by them was not recorded.

(Source: ACT Planning & Land Authority, reference 202139360)

1 Comment

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  1. Ian and Robyn Gibbs commented

    We wish to raise the following concerns about the proposed child care centre at 16 Newdegate Street Deakin.
    In short, the proposal is for an ‘industrial’ size child care centre in what is currently a quiet residential area. At 120 places, the centre would be more than 50 per cent larger than the average ACT centre (around 75 places according to the ACT Government’s 2017 report on Early Childhood Education and Care). As such, it would seemingly not be compliant with the guidance in the Community & Recreation Facilities Location Guidelines General Code that there should only be ‘small centres in residential areas’.
    Moreover, the Development Application Report & Statement Against Criteria specifies (para 3.1) that the proposal is designed to provide pathways for children into Anglican Schools such as Radford, Burgmann, Canberra Grammar School and Canberra Girls Grammar and meet the demand for high quality child care services in this part of Canberra (emphasis added). It is hard not to draw the conclusion that this very large centre would primarily serve the interests of an already privileged community — and a community which would presumably be better placed than most to finance this sort of large scale development in a non-residential area.
    For local residents, the proposed centre would have two adverse consequences— higher traffic volumes and increased parking pressure (see below); and generally increased noise levels during centre opening hours. Such reduced residential amenity would inevitably translate to lower property values adjacent to the centre.
    The traffic report paints a rosy picture of traffic flow and parking outcomes and, in the process, largely dismisses concerns raised by residents during a community consultation. Yet it is far from clear that the off-site analysis underpinning the report provides a realistic assessment of the traffic flow and parking issues that would arise were the centre to go ahead.
    • Given the characteristics of Macartney Crescent and Newdegate Street, the 200 vehicle an hour RTA limit referenced in the report is a problematic traffic flow threshold in this case. The report’s suggestion that the ACT Government might wish to introduce new parking restrictions in Macartney Crescent is tacit admission that the proposed centre could materially reduce ease of vehicle access through the area. Amongst other things, this would make life more difficult for local residents seeking to exit driveways during the morning and afternoon drop off and pick up periods and raise issues for curb-side waste collections.
    • The report is silent on access issues to and from Kent Street during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. Kent Street is now a busy thoroughfare. Vehicle queueing back down Macartney Crescent during the afternoon pick up is likely to be one consequence.
    • The 12 vehicle deficit in proposed on-site parking at the centre would add further to the existing use of adjacent streets for long term parking by workers from the West Deakin precinct. As the report acknowledges, these adjacent streets are relatively narrow, and were not designed for long term parking. Even with parking on only one side, they are effectively reduced to single lane. Access to the streets for residents from their driveways also becomes more problematic and dangerous due to reduced street vision and smaller turning spaces. Indeed, in recognition of such concerns, solid white lining has recently created a permanent no parking zone between the corner of Newdegate Street and Macartney Crescent and the driveway of No.23 Newdegate Street.
    We also note that the off-site parking analysis was predicated on five one-off parking snap shots — two during Covid, and one of the other three on a school holiday day. This is a pretty thin sample, especially given the variability prior to Covid in parking in the streets concerned by workers from the West Deakin precinct.
    In raising these concerns, we are not arguing against the development of the St Luke’s site. We were very much in favour of a previous development proposal in 2018 to build a small number of ‘supportive’ townhouses — a form of land use much more in keeping with the residential nature of the area
    Rather, our objection is to a development that is at odds with the general guidelines for childcare centres in residential areas; is underpinned by a problematic traffic flow and parking study; and which has the potential to be significantly detrimental to residential amenity and property values in the area.
    Ian and Robyn Gibbs

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